OOTD: b.young

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.

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duurzame webshopWat mooi duurzame webshopduurzame mode

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

With Love,
Alisson

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Tips For Having A Sustainable Wardrobe

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

  3. 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?’
  4. If you can’t find what you are looking for in a second-hand shop, check if you can find it from a sustainable brand. (See my sustainable brand directory)
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Let your clothes dry naturally. The drying machine wastes a lot of energy and money.
  8. 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.
Sustainable wardrobe tips
Picture: Unsplash

With Love,

Alisson

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OOTD: Thinking Mu

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.

Algodon Organico Thinking MuThinking mu sustainable fashion

There’s not a single Thinking MU product which isn’t socially and economically fair and environmentally responsible.

Thinking Mu algodon organico

Every fabric has a story about sustainability and fair-trade to tell.

Thinking Mu

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

With Love,
Alisson

Check more sustainable brands here.

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A Brief History Of Hemp Clothing

One of the biggest challenges of the fashion industry today is its impact on the environment. From chemicals used in fabric dyes to microfibers in the ocean, there’s a lot to be done if we would like to preserve our planet. In this blog, we are going to talk about a possible solution for some of these challenges: hemp!

First, we’ll dive in for a little bit of history about hemp and after that, we’ll compare it to the most used materials in clothing: cotton and polyester. To get your first question out of the way: no, you can’t get high if you tried to smoke clothes made from hemp since it’s the non-smokable version of cannabis.

The history of hemp in a nutshell

What a lot of people don’t know is that the use of hemp as a crop dates back at least 8000 years. The first application of hemp was in the making of cordage for pots. Back then they already knew the immense strength that hemp offers. The other main applications of hemp, such as textiles and food came up around 4000BC in China. Imagine that for a second: hemp clothing was there before the pyramids of Egypt!

Another interesting fact is that the first pieces of paper were also made from hemp around 100BC in, again, China. This rich history of China with hemp is probably also the reason why around 80% of all the hemp textiles still come from China right now.

Fast forward to the 19th century. Hemp was doing just fine and was still widely used as a source of food, textile, paper, ropes, and sails. Most of the ships that were discovering the planet needed tons of hemp for their sails and ropes, which made hemp a very popular crop for farmers to grow.

So what happened to hemp? Well … industrialization happened. It made other materials like cotton, wood and later plastics a lot cheaper to process, which is one of the reasons hemp lost its industrial throne. Also, the US thought it’d be wise to criminalize cannabis (and thus hemp), so it became unviable for farmers to grow it.

Luckily, we humans got smarter and smarter, and now we realize that hemp is actually a great natural source for clothing, food, homes etc. Countries are allowing hemp to be grown again (jay!)

“Why is it that good?” you may ask. Well, let’s compare it to polyester and cotton to get an idea.

Hemp vs polyester

Polyester is mainly used because it is strong, cheap and can be made in all different kinds of garments. The disadvantages though are that it needs a lot of energy (high CO2 emissions) to be created and that it releases microfibers when washed. These microfibers account for up to 30% of all plastic pollution in the water, they are then eaten by fish and end up on our plate. Well done humans!

While polyester requires little water in the production process, it emits around 60% more CO2 in production than hemp. Hemp also doesn’t release any harmful microfibers when washed, so there’s a lot of reason why at least some polyester should be replaced by hemp.

Hemp vs cotton

When we compare regular cotton to hemp, it’s easy to see what the environmental benefits are. Hemp needs around 75% less water and 33% less land when compared to cotton. On a global scale, this could mean billions of liters of fresh water saved each year and more land available for other purposes. Also, in contrast to cotton, hemp does not need any pesticides or insecticides to grow, so that’s a win-win-win for hemp. (Organic cotton doesn’t use any either, but that usually requires more land and water than conventional cotton). The only real disadvantage that hemp has over cotton, is that it wrinkles more and is a bit rougher. A full list of the (dis)advantages that hemp has can be found here: https://alissonsimmonds.com/2018/08/21/natural-fabrics-101/

So why is it so hard to find nice clothing made from hemp, when it has so many benefits? The main reasons are that currently, it is more expensive to create clothing out of hemp when you compare it to cotton or polyester, and since there’s not that much demand, there are also a lot of technological steps to be made until it can compete completely with cotton or polyester.

Picture: Unsplash

This guest blog post was written by Erik de Groot. Co-Founder of the natural athletic apparel Iron Roots.

 

Different Approaches To Sustainable Fashion Explained

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.

 

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Picture: Unsplash

 

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.

With Love,

Alisson

6 Sustainable Rain Jackets To Survive The Dutch Autumn

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:

1. Maium

Picture from https://www.maium.nl

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)

2. Becksöndergaard

Picture from www.watmooi.nl

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.

3. Rains

Picture from https://www.goodfibrations.nl

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.

4. Röhnisch

Picture from https://www.watmooi.nl

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.

5. Thought

Picture from https://www.wearethought.com

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

Picture from https://sophiestone.nl

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.

With Love,

Alisson

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

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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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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