CLEAN UP YOUR CLOSET TIPS (AND START MAKING MONEY)

Cleaning up my closet has become a routine for me. Ever since a little kid, my mother encouraged me to donate the clothes that didn´t fit me anymore. With the years I have gathered some experience and here are my tips to help you clean up your closet:

1. Prepare yourself with a nice drink and a happy playlist.

2. Start by taking every single item out of your closet and place them on your bed or the floor.

3. Place 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.

4. Hang the items that you want to keep neatly back in your closet. Do so into categories. I like to start with shorts and skirts, then pants, shirts, blouses, dresses, blazers, and jackets. This way the items you want to keep in your closet are organized and clutter free so you can see everything you own at once. Put the shoes neatly on the floor of the closet.

5. Store your seasonal clothes that don´t fit the current season in boxes in your spare space. (Under the bed, in the attic etc) Having only in your closet the clothes that you currently wear, makes it easier to choose what to wear.

6. If you have clothes to fold, do it in an organized way and also into categories rather than in colors.  Make sure your organization works for you and won’t confuse you as to where your things are.

7. Use the backward hanger strategy when putting clothes back into your closet to get a better idea of the items you actually wear often. Face all of your hangers away from you and replace each one the “right way” after wearing the item hanging on it. Check back in a couple of months then a year to see which hangers are still facing the wrong way. Maybe it’s time to get rid of those articles and clean out your closet again?

8. Once your closet is organized, move on to the two piles you made.

9. Put all the clothes of the “donate” pile in a box and leave it close to your door so you bring it to a charity shop as soon as possible.

10. Put the clothes of the “sell” pile neatly on a box and bring it as soon as possible to the nearest second-hand shop. Another option is to sell it in a flea-market or to sell them online via an online platform for selling clothes.

I hope you like these tips and get inspired to clean up your closet and start selling the clothes that you don´t wear anymore. Do you miss any tip? Let me know in the comments below.

With Love,

Alisson

P.S.: For all my Dutch followers, I´m organizing a second-hand market in Amersfoort! Read here all the information about it.

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10 TIPS FOR MASTERING SECONDHAND SHOPPING

It´s been now more than 5 years since I started buying second-hand clothes. I have to admit that at the very beginning I was skeptical and didn’t like the idea of buying clothes previously worn by someone I don’t know. That feeling went away as soon as I found clothes that look as good as new and from brands that I would normally also buy new.

Buying used clothes, it´s a more sustainable way to shop because it saves the resources needed to produce an entirely new item. Purchasing used clothing is an easy way to reduce your impact on the environment.

I know that walking into a second-hand or charity shop can be totally overwhelming. Racks overflow with t-shirts, dresses, jackets, shoes, that you don´t even know where to start, I’ve been there too. But practice makes the master, and in the past years, I’ve picked up some tricks for managing the chaos.

Here are my ten tips to help you become a successful second-hand shopper just like me.

1. Do a little research and google the second-hand and charity shops that are around the area you want to go. Once you know where they are, make a little route of where are you going to go first. I save the places as favorite on my phone in the google maps app and the best route will show. 

Picture: Gert Zomer

2. The best is to go with a friend and to make a date out of it. It can be fun to help each other out and you can finish it with a coffee and cake in a nice place ;).

3. Go with a blank idea of what you want to find. Second-hand shops are constantly changing and you will never know what you might find.

Picture: Gert Zomer

4. Once you are in the shop, walk around the entire store and grab everything that catches your attention, even if you are not sure about it and if it´s not your size. You can go through your selection later and decide what to keep.

5. Try on the clothes that you are not sure if they fit you. Then you might decide what to buy and what to leave behind. Please note: Buy only items that fit. Even if it´s something you are looking for. If it doesn’t fit, it is going to end up in your closet doing nothing.

6. Be aware of stains, and clothes that are damaged. The best is to check before you buy them. On all second-hand and charity shops I go, they have a no-return policy.

Picture: Gert Zomer

8. Save your energy and just try the clothes you chose during the first round. Once you tried on and decide what to buy,  pay for your clothes and move on to the next shop.

I go to the closest charity shop at least twice per month. I quickly go through racks waiting for something to catch my attention. Every visit is short and since a lot of the merchandise, I’ve seen before it makes it easy for me to spot what’s new and worthy.

Picture: Gert Zomer

9. Don’t Be Disappointed if you go back home empty handed. Having an all second-hand wardrobe takes time and a couple of visits to the shops. Lots of the time, I go back home without anything, if there’s nothing I like on the racks, I just leave it and save my money for the next visit.

10. If you do find amazing items, as soon as you get home, make sure you put all your new clothes directly into your washing basket and wash them as soon as possible so you can start wearing them.

I hope you like these tips and get inspired to go second-hand shopping. Do you miss any tip? Let me know in the comments below.

With Love,

Alisson
P.S.: All my outfits from this post are second-hand.

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GEITENWOLLENWINKEL – FAVORITE PIECES UNDER €50

Fair fashion clothes have the bad reputation of being expensive, 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.geitenwollenwinel.com This shop sells only sustainable clothes from green, fair and vegan brands.

After checking out their current collection, I listed out my favorite items under €50 for you:

1. Qnoop sokken

Qnoop socks are made of 100% organic cotton. One sock has a button, the other one has the buttonhole. (Very handy for washing them in the washing machine.)
Price: €14,95

2. People Tree white top

This top of People Tree has an open back and it’s made out of 100% organic cotton.
Price: €39,95

3. ARMEDANGELS blue and white stripes top


This top of ARMEDANGELS is perfect for the summer. It has little ruffles on the armholes and three buttons on the back which give a nice detail. The material is 100% Tencel.
Price: €34,95

4. Real Fake T-shirt


This T-Shirt has an oversized fit. It is made of 100% organic cotton and is fairly produced.
Price: €45,00

5. Kings Of Indigo dress


This striped dress is a basic must-have. It is made of 100% organic cotton and has a loose fit. Nice to combine it with sneakers for a sporty look or heels to make it chic.
Price: €49,95

6. Thinking Mu pants


These happy are made of 100% cotton. The fabric is thin making them perfect for this summer season.
Price: €54,95

7. Matt & Natt sandals


Matt & Nat makes vegan, durable and high-quality bags and shoes. These sandals are the ultimate basics that can be worn everywhere. The material is vegan leather.
Price: €49,95

8. Matt & Natt sneakers


These basic pink sneakers can be worn with all kind of outfits. The material is 100% vegan leather.
Price: €49,95

9. Melissa rain boots

These Melissa rain boots are made out of 100% Melflex which is an hypo-allergenic, void of animal products, and recyclable kind of plastic. This brand pays its employees above average wage, and their benefits are exemplary. When their shoes can’t be sold from a previous season, they are melted into new styles. About 99% of their industrial waste is recycled including painting residues, production water and PVC. 
Price: €39,95

10. Matt & Natt bag


This blue clutch of Matt & Nat is ideal for all occasions! The inside of the bag is made from recycled pet bottles and the material of the outside is 100% vegan leather.
Price: €45,00

I hope you get inspired and next time you are looking for basics, give it a try and check geitenwollenwinkel out. You can shop online HERE

With Love,

Alisson

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I HAVE BEEN WEARING THE SAME CLOTHES OVER AND OVER AGAIN

Today it’s been a month since I started the challenge 333. I have been repeating my outfits over and over again. When I think about it, it sounds crazy and it makes me feel that it is not possible to live like that, but now that I see it on my pictures I feel confident that it´s totally ok.

This is how my last week looked like:

 

 

 

On my day to day, I sometimes forget that I am doing this challenge. It´s only when I see the pictures that I realize that I wear the same black destroyed jeans and the golden shoes at least twice per week. It´s great to document my outfits to realized it. Another thing that I have noticed is that none one of my friends or my colleagues have told me anything negative about my clothes or asked me why I repeat clothes so often. I thought it would be obvious but I guess that was only in my head. It´s been only one month but I feel that I have gained the confidence to wear my clothes over and over again. I chose clothes that I feel good in, this makes it easier to repeat outfits. I consciously change the color of my lipstick or I use a choker or a bandana or even change my hairstyle to give it a little twist to my look.

During the month of June, these were the items I wore the most:

 

 

The black destroyed jeans I wore 12 times, the golden shoes 9 times and the blue jeans 6 times.

These are the items I wore the least:

 

 

The striped dress and the white V-neck shirt I have only worn once and the denim skirt to my own surprise, I haven’t wear at all.
One month was over very fast but I am loving this and can´t wait to see if I can keep it up two more months.

Next week more updates, check my last week updates here and here.

With love,

alisson-simmonds-rosado-con-hoja

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DUTCH FAIR FASHION BRANDS THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT

The 17th of June I attended the Fair Fashion Festival in Rotterdam. It was an afternoon full of inspiring people and brands. I got to know a lot of new brands and here are my favorites:

1. Pretty & Fair

pretty-and-fair-e1497945763172.png

Pretty & Fair is a Dutch brand that makes shoes from sustainable materials. The Founder, Alinda van Teeckelenburgh worked in the shoe industry for over 15 years. During that time she realized that the production of shoes is more about the numbers and prices than about planet and people. She decided to start her own sustainable shoe label in 2016. She uses materials such as natural rubber for the soles, recycled PET bottles for the zippers and water based glue. The shoes are produced in Portugal by a small family company that offers good working conditions for the makers.

2. Lizet van der Knaap

LIZET VAN DER KNAAP

Lizet van der Knaap is a Dutch fashion designer. She handmakes colorful and beautiful backpacks and totes using sustainable materials.

3. Wolf and Storm

Wolf and Storm

Wolf and Storm is the online destination for sustainable and vegan clothes and accessories. They sell from brands such as Denise Roobol, A Beautiful Story, Matt & Natt, Miss Green, People´s Avenue and a lot more!

4. Natur-el

Natur-el

Natur-el is a fashion store that sells only sustainable brands. Such as Armed Angels, People Tree, Miss Green among others. The address is zwaanshals 33 in Rotterdam.

5. Granny’s Finest

Grannies

Granny´s Finest is a Dutch fashion brand. The products are handmade by grannies all around The Netherlands and are designed by young creatives. They use as natural and organic yarns as possible.  During the festival, the founder Niek van Hengel gave an inspiring speech of how the brand started. You can read all about it HERE.
You can find their products in De Bijenkorf, WAAR, Sissy Boy among other stores and they also have an online shop.

I hope you like my selection and check them out.
The next Fair Fashion Festival will be in Utrecht the 22nd of October. Join me and let´s discover more sustainable and fair brands together.

With Love,

alisson-simmonds-rosado-con-hoja

 

 

 

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LEATHER ALTERNATIVE​ FABRICS THAT SHOULD TAKE OVER THE FASHION WORLD

While most people associate leather with cows, the reality is that many different animals such as pigs, goats, sheep, crocodiles, snakes, emus, deer, fish, kangaroos, horses, cats and dogs are killed to make leather. Most of the leather comes from India and China where environmentally and healthy regulations are very poor. Once an animal’s skin is removed, it is preserved through a process called tanning which uses strong chemicals to prevent the skin from decomposing, this process is toxic to both the environment and the people. The more I research about this, the more I get encouraged to not support the leather industry but I found it very hard to find nice looking fake leather jacket, bag or shoes that are made from a sustainable material rather than a synthetic one. The good news is that there are some alternative fabrics to leather that will take over soon! (Hopefully) I have listed out my research for you to check it:

1. Cork leather
Is the most common leather alternative. Cork is obtained from the outer layer of the bark of the Cork Oak tree, a native tree found in Portugal. Its removal does not harm the tree and it will grow a new layer to replace the harvested cork making it a renewable and sustainable resource. In the past cork has commonly been used in the heels of shoes but now a very thin piece of cork also known as cork leather or cork fabric is also used as a natural and eco-friendly alternative to leather. It is hard wearing and durable.

Ono leather althernative

Brands that use cork leather so far are ONO, the Dutch designer Anna Treurniet and the German designer Ina Koelln.

2. Pineapple leather
This is a natural and sustainable textile made from the leaves of pineapples, which are the waste from the pineapple harvest. The leaves are the by-product of an existing industry, this means no additional land, water, fertilizers or pesticides need to be used to produce them. The raw material has a low environmental impact and is completely biodegradable.

Pineapple leather
Brands that use pineapple leather so far are Maravillas Bags, Time IV Change, Bourgeois Boheme, Chala Sandals, HentiesNae Shoes and Ina Koelln.

3. Recycled rubber
The rubber that used in inner tubes of tires, has a leathery texture and density, making it the perfect material for bags. This material is 100% recycled, the varied texture of the rubber gives each item a distinctive character and, although reused, the material remains extremely hardwearing.

Recycled rubber
A brand that recycles rubber is the English brand Paguro.  They make unisex bags and jewelry from this material.

4. Mushroom leather
This latest innovation leather comes from fungus spores that are grown into a close, woven pattern. It is processed in a manner similar to that of animal leathers. However, the tanning procedure is completely natural. It takes place without using toxic chemicals. Laboratory tests show that this kind of mushroom ‘skin’ is a hygienic material: it stops the proliferation of bacteria. It also has a strong absorbent capacity. Moisture is taken into the material and slowly released. These two factors are of use in a number of applications, such as shoe insoles, watch straps and so on. Muskin is also breathable. With its very soft suede or leather feel and surprising qualities, Muskin is a material that demands a closer look.

Mushroom leather
I couldn’t find a brand that uses this material, but I won´t be surprised to see it in a near future. Please let me know in the comments below if you do know of a brand that sells products from this revolutionary material.

Is there a material I am missing? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

With love,
alisson-simmonds-rosado-con-hoja

 

 

 

 

ALL-YEAR-ROUND BASICS MUST-HAVES

Looking for sustainable and ethical fashion brands have become my hobby since I started this blog. My latest discovery is the ethical and sustainable clothing brand: Miss Green.

Sustainable and Ethical fashion represents an approach to the design, sourcing, and manufacture of clothing which maximizes benefits to people and communities while minimizing the impact on the environment of all business operations, throughout the supply chain.

Slow Fashion is the movement of designing, creating, and buying garments for quality and longevity. It encourages slower production schedules, fair wages, lower carbon footprints, and (ideally) zero waste.

Sustainability is at the core of the Dutch brand Miss Green. For the owner, Maaike Groen, is very important to produce her clothes as responsible as possible with the environment and with the garment workers. The people who make the clothes earn a fair salary and work under good conditions. They only produce in European and Indian workshops with a GOTS certificate and a SA8000 standard, which means that they ensure organic and socially responsible production. During the production process, no harmful chemicals are used and the substances are as biological as possible. Besides, Miss Green rely mainly on her gut feeling. They regularly visit the factories and workshops to view and choose fabrics, but above all to talk with the people who make Miss Green´s clothes. They only have two collections per year.

After checking out their current Spring/Summer collection, I listed out my favorite items for you:

1. Tanktop Irene

 

Every wardrobe needs a tank top. In the summer, to wear it in the hot days and in the winter, to wear it under a sweater.  The materials of these ones are 95% Tencel and 5% Elastane. The price is €29,95 and they have it in 5 different colors. Sizes are from XS to XL

2. T-shirt Ozlem

 

T-shirts are my personal favorite basic. The materials of these ones are 95% tencel and 5% lycra. The price is €39,95.

3. Longsleeve top Billie

duurzaam_top_billie_navy_offwhite_detail2_1

This is a basic must-have. You can wear on every season and combine it with any bottom. The materials are 67% bamboo, 26% organic cotton and 7% elastane. The price is €59,95 and they have it in 3 different colors.

4. Cardigan Moira

 

This cardigan is a good all season basic. Perfect for a chill summer night, or a nice layer for the winter. You can make casual but also dressy outfits with it. The material is 100% organic cotton. The price is €99,95 and they have it in 2 different colors.

5. Jumpsuit Ann

 

Since this spring I am a big fan of jumpsuits. They are comfortable and suitable for multiple occasions. This Ann jumpsuit on the picture above in black is made out of 95% organic cotton and 5% lycra, the price is €69,95. While the blue one is made out of 87% organic cotton and 13% elastane. The price is €99,95.

Blouses have always been part of my wardrobe. In white and blue are my personal favorites.  The material is 100% Tencel. The price is €79,95

By buying ethical fashion you are supporting the company and the people who is behind it making the clothes. I hope you get inspired and next time you are looking for basics, give it a try and check Miss Green. You can shop online HERE
Or you can check their map HERE to see where is the closest shop for you.
In Amersfoort, you can find them in the shop “Keizerin” at the Zuidsingel 70.
*Tencel or lyocell is a sustainable fabric, regenerated from wood cellulose. It is similar in hand to rayon and bamboo, both regenerated fabrics. However, Tencel is one of the most environmentally friendly regenerated fabrics. It is obtained from eucalyptus trees that are grown on farms—no old growth forests, genetic manipulation, irrigation, or pesticides are used. These forests and the pulp produced for Tencel have earned Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification that the products come from socially and environmentally responsible forests.

With love,

alisson-simmonds-rosado-con-hoja

LET´S MAKE THIS AN ETHICAL SUMMER

Summer is just around the corner. Today I´m giving you some tips on ethical summer clothes. If you are not looking for clothes right now, you can remember these brands below and check them out when you want to refresh your closet.

Ethical fashion represents an approach to the design, sourcing, and manufacture of clothing which maximizes benefits to people and communities while minimizing the impact on the environment. These are some features that are usually pointed out as ethical: Fair trade, employing women or certain ethnic groups, products made without animal ingredients and cruelty-free, donating part of the profits to a charity, handmade, fair wages paid and been transparent about the production and work policies.
I have listed 6 summer essentials that you can get from ethical brands.

1. Sunglasses from Dick Moby

 

Dick Moby is a Dutch company that makes sustainable eyewear from plastic. They use and reuse plastic without creating more waste in the process. They are handmade in Italy. Every pair of sunglasses comes with a free recycled leather hard case.
You can check their online shop HERE

2. Bikini from Pura Clothing

Pura Clothing
I´m wearing the Luna top and the Amante bottom.

Sara is the girl behind PURA: a Swiss brand of swimwear. Pura means pure, which refers to pure fabrics and a pure conscience. All the bikinis are hand made in Switzerland, using Fabrics exclusively from Europe.
Check the new collection HERE

3. Organic cotton tops by People´s tree

 

The production of the clothes of People´s Tree is sustainable and environmentally friendly. They use organic cotton which guarantees small-scale farmers in developing countries to receive a fair and stable price and an additional premium which gives them the opportunity to develop their communities.
Check the collection HERE

4. Jeans from Mud for €7,50 (per month)

Picture from http://www.mudjeans.eu/product-category/women/women-lease/women-lease-a-jeans/
Picture from http://www.mudjeans.eu

Mud Jeans is a Dutch denim company that introduced ‘Lease A Jeans’. For 7,50€ per month you can lease one jeans, wear them and after a year, or, when the jeans are completely worn out, you can send them back and switch to a new pair. Worn out jeans are shredded, cut into pieces and blended with virgin cotton. This is how a new denim yarn is born. Returned jeans that are still good are upcycled and sold as unique vintage pairs. The jeans are named after the former user.
Learn more about this project HERE

5. Backpack from Fjällräven

 

Fjällräven makes functional, timeless and sustainable equipment & clothes for outdoor use. All with the idea of having a less negative impact on the environment. Their production is fair trade and they support different charities.
Check the collection HERE

I hope this inspire you to add sustainable brands to your summer wishlist. Ethical brands may be more expensive than non-ones, but in my experience, the quality is better. It is a little investment and you will have the piece for a longer time. But if you are low on budget this season, give it a try to second-hand shops. You might find amazing pieces for little money. In The Netherlands, there are some nice second-hand shops and charity shops that you can visit. If you prefer online, check then United Wardrobe, The Next Closet and Marktplaats.

For more brands that support fair living wage and the environment, you can check this list that I put out for you. Keep an eye on it, I constantly update it.

P.s.: If you know of a brand that is not on this list, please let me know in the comments below.

With Love,

alisson-simmonds-rosado-con-hoja

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ETHICALLY MADE SHOES, ARE THEY MORE EXPENSIVE?

If something is biological, sustainably and ethically made, it has the bad reputation of being expensive. Talking about this subject with my friends, made me realize that the reputation might be a reason why people don´t buy this kind of products. While some sustainable brands are indeed more expensive than non-ethical ones, the difference might not be crazy high. And when comparing the quality, the difference in price is really worth it.

I found five of my favorite ethical footwear brands and compared them to a non-ethical one. This way you can see the difference in price and style.

1. Veja and Adidas

Veja vs Adidas 1Veja is a French brand of ecological and fair trade footwear. The shoes are made of organic cotton, wild rubber from the Amazon and vegetable-tanned leather.
The shoes on the left are €130,- and the ones on the right are €94,95

2. Ethletic and Converse

Ethletic vs All stars 1

Ethletic is a German brand that makes fair, sustainable and vegan shoes. ‘All shoes’ are made from fairtrade certified organic cotton and natural rubber soles. Except for the metal eyelets, natural materials are used exclusively.
The shoes on the left are €64,90 and the ones on the right are €65,-
Shop Ethletic shoes HERE.

3. Nae and Vans

Nae vs Vans 1

Nae is a Portuguese footwear brand with a vegan philosophy and concerned with environmental sustainability. They work with alternative materials to leather such as cork, ecological microfibers, pineapple leaves and recycled plastic bottles (PET).
The shoes on the left are €99,- and the ones on the right are €100,-

4. Veja and New Balance

Veja vs NB 1The shoe on the left is made from high-quality and sustainable materials. For the upper material, a mesh made from recycled plastic bottles (PET) is used, while faux suede panels on the toe and heel help to protect against scuffs. The V on the side is made from natural rubber, the sole as well.
The shoes on the left are €99,- and the ones on the right are €100,-

5. Matt & Nat and Zara
Matt & Natt vs Zara 1
Matt & Nat is a Canadian brand that makes vegan footwear and accessories. They use vegan leathers and eco-friendly materials like recycled nylon, cork, and rubber.
The shoes on the left are €85,- and the ones on the right are €49,95.

6. Cosi Cosi and Zara
Cosi red vs Zara 1Cosi Cosi is a German vegan footwear brand. The shoes are made in Italy, often with a creative use of cork and high-quality synthetic leather and their bags are made of 100% recycled plastic bottles.
The shoes on the left are €109,- and the ones on the right are €45,95

I hope this comparison helps you to have an open mind to ethical and sustainable brands. In my opinion, exploiting nature and people is wrong. And unnecessary. Some brands are working hard against it. We, consumers, can decide what products to choose.

For more brands that support fair living wage and the environment, you can check this list that I put out for you. Keep an eye on it, I constantly update it.

P.s.: If you know of a brand that is not on this list, please let me know in the comments below.

With Love,

alisson-simmonds-rosado-con-hoja