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

Follow me on Instagram
Follow me on Pinterest
Like my Facebook page

Read 12 loco things Dutchies do part 1

Learn About: Natural Fabrics

In the journey towards a more sustainable wardrobe, I came across to the topic of fabrics. A topic I never cared, until I started to learn more about the problem that synthetic fabrics bring to our oceans. The production of garments whether from natural or synthetic fabrics cost a lot of resources. But natural fibers have a better impact on the environment than synthetic ones. Natural fibers are better for the skin and kinder on the environment. Today, I am explaining to you the advantages and disadvantages of the most common natural fibers.

Cotton

is one of the most common natural fibers in the market. It comes from a plant.
Cotton is:

  • Soft
  • Easy to wash
  • Breathable – Great option for hot weather and for baby clothing
  • Hypoallergenic – Does not irritate the skin
  • Absorbent – It works great as cloth diapers
  • Organic cotton is free of chemicals and is biodegradable

The disadvantages of Cotton are:

  • The color fades over time
  • It wrinkles very fast
  • It can shrink
  • The crops use a lot of water
  • It uses pesticides
  • Most of the regular cotton crops are GMO
  • There might be toxic dyes and bleach in the production process.

Organic cotton is characterized by a production process without the use of pesticides, synthetic growth regulators and the seeds are not genetically modified. There is also often a natural rotation of crops in the fields which helps to maintain a healthy soil.

Cotton Natural Fabric

Wool

is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and other animals, including cashmere and mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, angora from rabbits, and other types of wool from camels. Wool mainly consists of protein together with a few percent lipids.
Wool is:

  • Waterproof
  • Fire resistant
  • Holds air
  • Durable – Clothes can last a very long time
  • It has the ability to regulate body temperature
  • It is crimped and elastic
  • Absorb moisture – it can absorb almost one-third of its own weight in water
  • Easy to dye
  • Biodegradable

The disadvantages of wool:

  • It involves animal cruelty issues
  • Shrinks in hot water
  • It can peel
  • Needs special care to wash
  • Causes an allergic reaction in some people
  • Toxic pesticides and chemicals might be used. You can avoid this by purchasing only organic wool.

Some fashion brands are starting to use recycled wool. The process demands less energy and less landfill required for sheep grazing. It saves raw materials and brings new life to old garments.

Linen

is a natural fiber that it’s made from the flax plant.
Linen is:

  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Soft and smooth – It gets softer the more it is washed
  • Cool and absorbent- Perfect for hot weather
  • The production uses less water than cotton
  • Biodegradable

The disadvantages of linen are:

  • It has a poor elasticity
  • It wrinkles easily
  • Might need special care to wash
  • Can be dyed with toxic chemicals

Linen Natural Fabric

 

Hemp

is a natural fiber that is made from the cannabis plant.
Hemp is:

  • Strong
  • Durable
  • Becomes softer over time
  • Resistant to mold and ultraviolet light
  • Absorbent
  • Breathable
  • When dye it retains its color better than any other fabric
  • No pesticides needed
  • It doesn’t damage the soil
  • The crops don’t need much water
  • Biodegradable

The disadvantages of hemp are:

  • It wrinkles
  • Not legally easy to grow for fabric production in some countries

Silk

is a natural protein fiber made from the cocoon of the silkworms.
Silk is:

  • Smooth
  • Soft
  • Lightweight
  • Natural shiny
  • Absorbent
  • Comfortable
  • Its low conductivity keeps warm air close to the skin during cold weather
  • Easy to dye
  • Biodegradable

The disadvantages of silk are:

  • Animal cruelty issues – The silkworms are killed in the production
  • Needs special care to wash
  • Expensive
  • Can change color from sunlight and perspiration
  • Not durable

Silk

Rayon

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

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

The disadvantages of rayon are:

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

Bamboo

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

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

The disadvantages of bamboo are:

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

As you can see, all of the fibers have advantages and disadvantages. There is no perfect fiber. But there are fibers less harmful to the environment than others. I hope you find this information useful and it helps you to become more conscious about natural fabrics.

With Love,

Alisson

Follow me on Instagram
Follow me on Pinterest
Like my Facebook page

Learn more about cotton and polyester

Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying New Clothes

Impulsive shopping. We all have been guilty of this. The marketing and social media worlds are really good for making us feel that we ‘need’ new clothes every week. We feel pressure to be on trend and with the fast fashion at its peak, it’s getting easy to buy a lot of clothes for little money. But these clothes end up in the closet, worn once and never again. The fashion industry is the second dirtiest in the world. This industry is responsible for big amounts of water consumption and CO2 emissions. The textile dyeing is a huge polluter of water due to the toxic chemicals that the production involves. Fashion is a complicated business involving long and varied supply chains of production, raw material, textile manufacture, clothing construction, shipping, retail, use and ultimate disposal of the garment

If you want to be more of a conscious fashion consumer, consider asking yourself these questions before buying anything new:

1. Can I find it second-hand?
Check your local second-hand stores and charity shops before you go to a fast fashion store. You might find just what you are looking for in a perfect condition.

2. Do I already have something similar in my closet?
If you already have something like this, there is no need to add it to your wardrobe.

3. Can I match it with my current wardrobe?
If you need more items to combine, consider if it’s really necessary. Buying something new should not mean that you need to buy a bunch of new things to go with it.

4. Will I wear it regularly?
I’m a big fan of Olivia Firth’s 30 Wears Campaign, which encourages people only to buy things you think you will wear at least 30 times. If you can’t see yourself wearing the item on a regular basis, rethink the purchase. The key is to look for clothes and shoes that blend into your wardrobe. This way, you’ll maximize your clothes and create a stylish and functional wardrobe.

5. Is the style one that will last?
Trends are very cruel. They make us believe we need them in our lives. But will that investment be on trend next spring? If not, skip it. Experience has shown us that these trendy pieces will end up a year later in the donate pile. Trends are manufactured by the fast fashion industry and change quickly.

6. What is this piece made of?
If the fabric is synthetic, rethink your purchase. If you really need that piece of clothes, try to look for a version with natural fabrics like cotton or hemp. Investing in higher-quality materials means a higher-quality experience wearing the garment and less guilt about its environmental toll.

7. Does it fit perfectly?
If you don’t feel comfortable right after you tried the piece on, there is a chance that you are not going to feel comfortable wearing that piece ever. If you are uncomfortable in the item or you don’t like it 100%, it’s not worth spending money on.

8. Do I really like it?
If after 10 minutes you are still debating whether you should buy an item it or not, it’s probably because you don’t really love, or need the item. The best is to leave it and walk away. When buying a new item, you should always be confident in your purchases.

Consider these questions next time you are going shopping. This way you will become more conscious of the purchases you make and won’t suffer from buyer’s remorse again.

With Love,

Alisson

Follow me on Instagram
Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Like my Facebook

Natural and Organic Beauty Salon in Amersfoort: Frankie & Olive

The skin is the largest organ in our body. It absorbs most of what it comes in contact with. The majority of store-bought beauty products have artificial colors, fragrances, preservatives and stabilizers that get absorbed through the skin’s pores right into the bloodstream. These products can cause a range of negative long-term health effects. Skin sensitivity, allergic reactions, hormonal imbalances, cancer… the list of side effects and reactions to these chemical ingredients is long and scary. Not to mention the negative impact the production and the waste of these products have on the environment.

Since I started reading about the side effects of regular beauty products I rather not risk a chance for a health problem and have decided to only use organic and natural beauty products. When I discovered that at the beauty salon ‘Frankie & Olive’ the treatments are done with only natural products, I wanted to go and try it out.

Lieselot is the owner of the salon. She works exclusively with 100% natural and organic products. Besides, the products are environmentally friendly and ethically made. I went for a basic facial treatment. It included:

  • Deep cleaning
  • Peeling
  • Removal of impurities
  • Eyebrows epilation
  • Face and neck massage
  • Relaxing face mask

The room of the treatment is decorated in a minimalistic way. There are big windows, which bring in natural light. I felt completely relax and enjoy the whole time. Lieselot is very kind and knows a lot about natural skin care. She has been in the business for 9 years. For the face treatment, she uses products from Phenomé and from Aster & Bay.  They feel good and soft on the skin. All of the products are organic, cruelty-free, fair trade, recycled, and free of plastic and nanoparticles.

Frankie & Olive is a combination of a beauty salon and an art studio. As soon as you enter, you can feel the mix of natural products and modern paintings. The atelier is situated in the Krommestraat 56 in Amersfoort.

If you love natural and organic products then Frankie & Olive is the place for you. The salon is open from Tuesday to Saturday. You can call or make an appointment online here.

Frankie and olive amersfoort

 

Frankie and olive beauty salon Amersfoort

Now you know where to go for a beauty treatment in Amersfoort. If you only want to go there to buy the products that it’s alright! Lieselot will gladly explain to you how to use them. She is there from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am.

With Love,
Alisson

Follow me on Instagram
Follow me on Pinterest
Like my Facebook page

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

Greentom – A Baby Stroller Made From Recycled Plastic Bottles

Looking for the right stroller can be very tiring while pregnant. There are so many different types, models, and colors. On top of that, every brand claims to make the best stroller ever. During my search, the only thing I was clear about, is that I wanted a stroller as sustainable as possible. In my research, I found a Dutch company that makes green strollers in a circular way: Greentom. The designer Bart Bost is the man behind Greentom. He makes strollers from almost one hundred percent recycled materials. Their mission is to design, develop and produce smart and sustainable products that make the world a little bit greener. For their strollers, they use recycled plastic bottles. This helps because the waste does not end up in our rivers, oceans, on our beaches or in landfills. At the end of its lifecycle, all of the Greentom products can be reused or recycled.

I wanted to give it a try and got the Carrycot model in color beige, with the frame in white. As soon as I got it, my husband and I were curious about it and started putting it together. The stroller was to ensemble very quick and easy. It feels lightweight and rides very smooth. I like it that the stroller grows up with the baby. When the Carrycot gets too small (or de the baby too big), I can use the reversible version. The frame stays the same, you only need to get the extra reversible or the classic chassis. These you can use the rest of the stroller time.

Greentom is the proof that circular products can be beautiful and timeless. You can use smart, cool and functional green products and make a difference.

I took my Carrycot stroller for a test ride. I can’t wait to start using it for real when the baby is born!

Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography
Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography
Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography

Discover more about the world of Greentom here: https://www.greentom.com/nl/

With Love,
Alisson

Follow me on Instagram
Follow me on Pinterest
Like my Facebook page
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

The Perfect Goodie Bag

Who doesn’t love presents? And even better; who doesn’t love a goodie bag!
Last weekend I had my best friends flying from Germany to The Netherlands, to celebrate my baby shower. A baby shower is a celebration for expecting mothers. The idea of the party is to help the mother-to-be to get the things she still needs for the baby. And of course to celebrate the coming birth of the baby. Before living in The Netherlands, I lived in Germany. That is where my best friends live as well. When I told them I was pregnant, they started organizing the shower for me. I felt really honored and special, and as a way to thank them for all they did for me, I decided to give them a goodie bag. These are the products I gathered for them:


This canvas bag is from the shop Kado Design. The bag is fairly made and from 100% cotton. It has the perfect size to fit a 15” laptop plus all the stuff you need for work and it is also great to use it for groceries.
See more of Kado Design.

4 IMG_9141Bee’s Wrap is a natural alternative to wrap food in plastic. The ones in the picture are from the shop ‘Eco Warehouse’. They make it with organic cotton, beeswax, organic jojoba oil and tree resin. How to use it: you have to fold a piece of Bee’s wrap around a piece of food or over a bowl and use the warmth of your hands to shape and seal it. Bee’s wrap is washable, reusable and compostable.
See more of Eco warehouse.

5 IMG_9150

Marbles By MG (Marit Groen) makes jewelry that cherishes moments. From communion, wedding, to grief processing, you can give your own meaning to it. This helps you to capture, cherish and remember the most special moments of your life. Marit makes all the jewelry herself. To celebrate the baby shower I got a pink bracelet that is called ‘The milestone thread’. It has a rutilated quartz on a very soft pink thread in silver.
See more of Marit’s unique collection.

6 IMG_9254
Zoya Goes Pretty is a brand based in Bulgaria that makes organic skin care products. They use 100% raw, unrefined and organic butters. All of their blends are as simple as possible with cold-pressed Shea butter and are melted below 40° to keep all essential nutrients. In the process, there are no toxic chemicals used. All the products are cruelty-free and vegan as well.
See more of Zoya Goes Pretty.

7 IMG_9130

On The Rocks notebook. The specialty of this book is that the sheets are made from stone paper instead of normal paper. The stones they used for the paper come from mines. The color of the stones is the color that the paper will take on. In the production of this paper, there is no water needed!
See more of On The Rocks.

8 IMG_9122
These cool socks are from the webshop ‘ToffeSokken.nl’. They sell a different kind of motives and a couple of different brands. Leonieke and Stijn started selling socks as a hobby, and now the webshop has grown to a place where you can look for the coolest and craziest socks you can’t imagine.
See more of ToffeSokken.nl.

10 IMG_9137
Weleda is a Swiss company that makes organic skin care products. They are free from synthetic compounds or toxic chemicals. Instead, they use flowers, fruits, roots extracts, minerals and essential oils. All the products are cruelty-free. Weleda has the NATRUE certification, which means they make 100% natural and organic products.
See more of Weleda.

Here is the whole goodie bag:
2 IMG_9169

Did you like the products I chose for my girlfriends? What would you add?

With Love,

Alisson

Follow me on Instagram
Follow me on Pinterest
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Favorite Eco Products From January

Since I started to invest more in the eco-products I use, I have been collecting different brands and trying them out. Every month on this new blog series, I will show you my favorite products. It’s time to promote the best eco-friendly products which are encouraging us to think a little greener about our consumption and to protect the environment. Here they are:

4 IMG_8980

On the rocks ‘first times diary’. I am a big fan of writing a diary. I got this book as a Christmas present and fell in love right away. The specialty of this book is that the sheets are made from stone paper instead of normal paper. The stones they used for the paper come from mines. The color of the stones is the color that the paper will take on. Don’t be discouraged when the sheets don’t look crispy white. What I love about this: there is no water needed in the production of this paper. Cool right? 😉
Read more about these amazing books here: https://paperontherocks.com/shop/

3 IMG_8979

Dr. Bronner’s all-one toothpaste. Made with organic ingredients. This paste is the most natural I have tried. It has no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or sweeteners. The tube where it comes is made from 100% recyclable materials. I like the taste and how fresh and clean it leaves my breath.
Read more about Dr. Bronner’s here: https://www.biggreensmile.nl

6 IMG_8984

Naif face cleanser. I am a big fan of products that are as natural as possible. I even use often fruits and veggies from the kitchen to clean my skin. While searching for baby skin care products I discovered Naif. They make products with no-nonsense ingredients for babies and for babes! I felt curious to try their products out and got the cleanser. The ingredients are mostly natural oils. Which make the skin very soft. I like the light smell and the fact that I can feel that it has no harsh chemicals in it. I’m very happy with this cleanser and I’m looking forward to starting using their baby products!
Read more about Naif and their babies and babes products here: https://naifcare.com/product-categorie/baby-care/

7 IMG_8983

Seepje washing nuts. These nuts are an all-natural product to wash your clothes with. I started using them last year, and still, I’m a big fan. I like to use natural products and soaps without SLS as much as possible. These nuts are just perfect. You can reuse them three times and afterward, you can throw them away in the green container. If washing your clothes with nuts feels too crazy for you, Seepje has normal washing liquid for the clothes as well. The liquid comes in a recycled bottle and is also SLS-free and is made with natural ingredients.
Read more about Seepje here: https://www.seepje.nl

5 IMG_8986

Dentatabs for brushing my teeth. I discovered this tabs last year while I was doing a plastic diet. They come in a paper bag but I store them in a mason jar. To use the tabs, you need to put one in your mouth and chew on them a little bit and start brushing your teeth. The tabs are made in Germany with all-natural ingredients. You can find them with and without flour. Read more about the tabs here:  https://www.bag-again.nl/product/denttabs-tand-tabletjes/?v=796834e7a283

I added two different toothpaste on my list because I use them both. I mostly use the tabs, but when I want a stronger fresh feeling, I use the toothpaste of Dr. Bronner’s.

2 IMG_8976

I hope you enjoy my list and would like to try some of the products I mentioned. Please contact me if you have any questions.

With love,

Alisson

Follow me on Instagram
Follow me on Pinterest
Like my Facebook page

Sexy And Sustainable Made Undies

Cheap underwear is made from synthetic fabrics. Mostly polyester and nylon. These fabrics are loaded with chemicals that  are not bad for your health, ‘apparently’.  The garment workers who made such underwears are suffering and not getting paid enough to make our €2,- panties. We need to stop buying cheap undies. And whether it’s healthy or not we need to stop rubbing toxic chemicals on our most sensitive parts.

I admit it. My underwear drawer contains a lot of cheap H&M and Victoria’s Secrets panties. Those purchases were from before my conscious time. Now that I have been slowly replacing my wardrobe with ethical brands, the time has come to start having underwears from sustainable materials. I started my research and have been adding quality underwear to my drawer. While ethical and slow fashion is growing by the minute there are also new brands making ethical lingerie that do more than keep you comfy. I have gathered five of my favorite underwear companies for you:

1. Erlich Textil

Erlich is based in Cologne, Germany. They make timeless and sexy lingerie with responsible materials. They work with a family-owned textile manufacturer in Romania. The producers they work with use the GOTS standard (Global Organic Textile Standard), ÖkoTex100 certification and carries the BSCI seal of quality (Business Social Compliance Initiative). The BSCI is an organization that works to protect workers’ rights. The garments are made of organic cotton or modal.

2. Anekdot

Anekdot makes ethical underwear and beachwear. The boutique is based in Berlin. The complete process from sketch to finished garment is hand-craft in the studio in Berlin. In the process, they upcycle and use leftovers of fabric as much as possible. They only make the garments they can with the fabrics they have. That’s why the stock is very limited. Their designs are sexy and bold.

3. Troo

Slow and responsible fashion is at the core of the founders of Troo: Nic and Steff Fitzgerald.  For them it is very important to partner up with young designers that also share the same beliefs. Producing beautiful and sexy undies that are responsible as possible with the environment and with the garment workers. The brand of their bralettes is called: Nette Rose. Designed and produced by Megan Miller. All the pieces are handmade in Cape Town (from the same country where the founders of Troo are from). The boutique is based in Switzerland.

4. WORON

WORON is a Scandinavian Brand based in Copenhagen, founded by sisters Arina and Anya Woron. They make comfortable and timeless garments. The fabrics they use are all plant-based. A combination of European produced modal and organic cotton are in all of their pieces. The garments are made in a family owned factory in Hungary. The factory has the ÖkoTex and GOTS certifications. Hungary has a strict working regulations both in terms of minimum wages and working standards. The factory is mostly run by women, employing mainly women and they offer additional benefits for working mothers. (Yeah!)

5. Comazo

Comazo is a German family business. They only use organic cotton for their garments. All the labels as well, sewing threads, and the buttons meet the GOTS standard. Comazo understand bra’s. They know which cup size you can make with organic cotton and when more cup seams are needed for extra support. The straps are slightly wider so it won’t cut into the skin. Due to the soft materials and the careful production process, without chemicals, the Comazo underwear is suitable for people with allergies or sensitive skin.

Which one is your favorite?
Look at the whole list of sustainable underwear brands in my shopping guide.

With Love,
Alisson

Follow me on Instagram
Follow me on Pinterest
Like my Facebook page
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Stop Buying Cheap Bad Quality Clothes, Do This Instead

One year ago, I decided to stop buying clothes from fast fashion brands. At the time, I was already aware of all the problems fast fashion brings to the environment and to the garment workers. Still, I occasionally felt into temptation and bought some clothes from fast fashion brands. The last time I went to one of those stores and saw everything on sale made me feel so bad, that I promise myself to not buy new cheap clothes again.

Before my conscious time, like most consumers, I was unaware of the real impact of cheap clothing. They’re designed to be thrown away after a few washes. The fabrics are mostly synthetic, which isn’t sustainable in the long run when you consider the amount of water and chemicals used for the production. On top of that, when a garment is so cheap, it’s a sign that the person who made it was not paid a living wage for their work.

This last issue is the one that bothers me the most. The majority of the garment workers are women under the age of 25. They come from poor regions and have no other choice than work for a low price in horrendous conditions. The more I read about this issue, the more I feel that I can not support unethical brands anymore.

As a fashion lover, it was hard for me to make the decision to stop buying clothes from cheap brands and instead to look for ethical brands. But I decided it was the right thing to do for our planet and for all those women out there who didn’t have the “luck” to be born in a middle-class family like me.

As an Instagrammer, I have a constant change in my wardrobe. But now I change it in a conscious way. Instead of buying cheap clothes, I do other things:

1. Second-hand shopping.
When I “need” a new piece of clothing, I first search all the second-hand and charity shops around my city. My tip: Be patience. With that, I always find what I need. By doing this, I save money and I reduce the production of new garments.

2. Care more for the clothes you own.
Now that I buy fewer clothes, I take better care of the ones I have. I learned to wash less and air them more often. At the end of the day, I hang the clothes that I used on an open space instead of leaving them on the floor. This helps me to keep my clothes in good condition. As for my jeans, I wear them more than 5 times before throwing them in the laundry. I wash my laundry in the washing machine in the 30° degrees setting. I use a little bit of detergent or washing nuts from Seepje. And I add some vinegar in the softener space.

3. Search for outfit inspiration on Pinterest.
There’s a big chance that your closet is full of clothes that are not being used to their best potential. If so, try to pick one item and look for outfits inspiration on Pinterest. Write down, for example: ‘red sweater outfit ideas’, ‘green pants outfit ideas’… This trick helped me to wear the clothes I already have in different styles and made me feel as if I got new clothes.

4. Shop less, choose well.
To do this, it’s important to be more organized with the clothes you own. Sell or give away all the clothes that you don’t like anymore. Keep only the clothes that you love. This helped me to have an overview of my clothes. It makes it easier to check if I really need a new piece in my closet.
But when I do buy a new piece of clothing or accessory, I make sure it’s an ethical brand. To find out, I search information about where the garment is made and from which materials it’s produced. If it’s not on the brand’s website I email my questions to them. If their answers feel good, I proceed with getting new clothes. Buying like this, helps me to choose well when I want to buy something new. I have learned to take my time when I search for a new piece. If you don’t have the time to do the search, you can check this list: “sustainable shops guide”. I have collected those names since I started my journey. Sustainable fashion brands are a little bit more expensive than fast fashion brands, which helps to buy only the garments that you really need.

5. Lend clothes from friends and family.
Do you have a wedding/party/gala coming up? Before looking for something new, ask your girlfriends or sister/cousins to lend you clothes for special events. It’s very common to own fancy dresses but only wear them once. Probably your friends have this kind of dresses as well. By lending a piece you will be saving money and no more clothes will need to be produced.

To leave you some inspiration, here are some of my outfits from last year. All from second-hand or ethically made clothes.

Dungarees and sweater from a second-hand shop in Amersfoort, shoes from Nae and beanie from a vintage shop in Paris. Picture by: Mitchel Lensink
Dress from Jan n’ June and bag Matt & Nat. Picture by: Mitchel Lensink
Dress from Studio Yunit, bag from Matt & Nat, second-hand and boots from The Next Closet. Picture by: Jacco Oskam
Pre-own shirt from a friend, skirt from a flea market, bag from a charity shop and shoes from a second-hand shop in Amersfoort. Picture by: Marisa Elisa Photography
Second-hand jacket and trousers from a charity shop and pre owned shoes from a friend. I got them via a swap party. Picture by: Marisa Elisa Photography

With Love,
Alisson

Read more about fast fashion:
5 Truths the fast fashion industry doesn’t want you to know
The high cost of our cheap fashion
Fast fashion, cheap fashion
Why I stopped shopping at H&M
What H&M doesn’t want you to be ‘conscious’ about

SUSTAINABLE GIFT GUIDE

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 or vegan which doesn’t break your bank account.

On my Pinterest account, I have gathered 50+ ideas for sustainable presents. From wooden watches to DIY whisky bottles. They are not only eco-friendly but also mainly chosen to suit both men and women. This makes your holiday giving a little bit easier.

 

 

Check the whole gift guide here:
https://nl.pinterest.com/alissonsimmonds/sustainable-gift-guide/

With Love,

Alisson

Follow me on Instagram
Follow me on Pinterest
Like my Facebook page
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

 

 

%d bloggers like this: