Spring is my favorite season to go back to working out regularly. With the sunny weather and the trees blooming everywhere, I find the motivation to get into my sports clothes and out of the door. Recently, I discovered the sustainable Danish brand ‘Röhnisch’ at the webshop http://www.watmooi.nl
The Swedish brand Röhnisch makes stylish, trendy and comfortable sportswear for women. Sustainability and ethical practices are at the core of the brand. For their pieces, they use recycled materials. All clothing is made in factories where people work under fair conditions. There is a “Code of Conduct” that all their suppliers must adhere to. This includes agreements on, among other things, exploitation, child labor, discrimination, and the environment.
The brand works together with the organization “Hand in hand”. This organization is working in a world without poverty and child labor. In India, the organizations work together to help women start their own businesses. They do this by sharing knowledge about business operations, but also by offering “microfinance”. Röhnisch has also been a partner of Pink Ribbon since 2014 and has sports bras in their collection that are suitable for women with prostheses.
From the Röhnisch collection of www.watmooi.nl, I got the flattering dots tights and sports bra. Here are some pictures:
Scrolling down Instagram I found an Amsterdam based brand that caught my attention: Teym. As soon as I started researching I fell in love with their ethical vision.
Sustainability, minimalism, and quality are at the core of Teym. The brand launches only one item per year. The goal is to create One Impeccable Wardrobe; one item at the time. Developing a new item takes a full year. For every piece, there is a well thought extensive research, design process, and production process. Every item has been developed in Teym’s atelier in Amsterdam and the factories are all in Europe.
A healthy work environment and a fair wage for the garment workers is a priority for Teym. It is important to the brand to know in which countries, by which people and under what conditions the items are being made. Because the factories are in Europe, the team is able to visit them on a regular basis and ensure fair labor practices.
From their items, the brand gifted me The Sweatsuit. I got the Zip Hoodie and The Sweatpants both in camel color. They are made from 100% cotton in an ethical factory in Portugal, where the workers are specialized in jersey.
On these series of pictures, I show you how I style The Sweatpants in different outfits. The pictures were made by photographer Marisa Elisa.
Learn more about Teym and their sustainable practices here.
On my search for eco-friendly basic clothing, I found the Danish brand Organic Basics. The brand is based in Copenhagen and it has been active since 2015. Sustainability and ethical practices are at the core of the brand.
All of the clothes from Organic Basics are made from sustainable fabrics. The most commonly used fabric is organic cotton. The cotton is grown in Turkey without the use of pesticides, no toxic substances, no chemical fertilizer, and no bad chemicals. It is grown without genetically modified seeds, and it is GOTS certified (which means that apart from being certified organic, it is grown by humans that are treated like humans).
Besides organic cotton, they also use an innovative fabric called SilverTech. The fiber has real silver in it. Silver has historically been used as an antimicrobial. And it is also thermodynamic, which means that the fabric keeps you cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. The purpose of using silver is to prevent the need for frequent washing. Wearing more and washing less is better for clothes and for the environment.
Another fabric that Organic Basics use is recycled nylon. Mechanically recycled nylon is a fiber developed from post-industrial waste, yarns from spinning factories, and waste from weaving mills. Recycled nylon uses 80% less and creates 90% fewer CO2 emissions compared to regular nylon.
Ethical labors are very important for Organic Basics. They only work with factories that have fair wages and treat employees with respect. The factories are located in Turkey. One in Izmir and the other one in Istanbul. In order to monitor the working conditions in Turkey, a small team from Organic Basics visit the cotton farms, and factories once every three months. While there, they also interact with the workers and spend time together.
Last week I place an order and it came by bike to my address.
The collection of Organic Basics is timeless, basic and minimalistic. Check it out and use my code: ALISSONOBC2 to get €15 Discount at www.organicbasics.com
Strolling down the second-hand market of the city I live in, I stepped upon a shiny pink skirt. At first, I was hesitant to buy it. I was afraid that the color wouldn’t look good on me. But after I saw the opening on the sides and realized that the skirt was as good as new I decided to give it a try. After I washed it I tried it on and started making outfits. I discovered that this skirt is very versatile. It fits with a lot of items from my closet.
On these series of pictures, I show you how I style the skirt in two different outfits. The pictures were made by the photographer Celia Alma from @thelightboxtales
What I´m wearing:
Shirt and skirt // Second-hand from the market
Shoes // Vegan Dr. Martens
What I´m wearing:
Shirt // Organic Basics Use this code to get 20% discount: OBxsimmonds20 Shop here
Skirt // Second-hand from the market
Jacket // Refurbished leather from Pelechecoco
Shoes // Vegan Dr. Marten
On this new series, I will be showing you my outfits. Most of the clothes you will see are second-hand or from sustainable brands.
Fashion is a very polluting industry. But As conscious consumers, we can reduce the environmental cost of fashion. For example by choosing for sustainable brands instead of fast fashion ones. By choosing for eco-friendly fabrics instead of synthetic ones and my favorite: by choosing to buy second-hand! Second-hand shopping is more kind to the environment because the garment has already been produced. It gives the item a longer life and it prevents it from landing in landfills.
Second-hand shopping has become part of my lifestyle. Every time I need a ‘new’ piece of clothes, I first go to one of the shops I listed below. If I can’t find what I need, I look for a new piece from a sustainable brand.
Here is my sustainable outfit of the week. The pictures are taken by the photographer Celia Alma from @thelightboxtales
What I´m wearing:
Body, pants, jacket, shoes // Second-hand from a charity shop
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
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
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.
This guest blog post was written by Erik de Groot. Co-Founder of the natural athletic apparel Iron Roots.
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.