Sustainable Brand: 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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Sustainable Brand: 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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Sustainable Brand: Halla Halla

Summertime. Who doesn’t love it? The perfect time to go to the beach, relax and sunbath. For this, I was looking for a sustainable swimsuit, and I discovered the Finnish swimwear brand Halla Halla. For their pieces, they use a fabric made from recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets found in the oceans. By this, Halla Halla helps to keep the oceans clean and the marine life to thrive.

All of Halla Halla swimsuit pieces are ethically made in Bali. They keep the production low and only produce a limited quantity at a time. Not only they make their products in an ethical way with sustainable materials, they make them look fun with unique prints and vibrant colors. All of the swimwear is reversible, with on one side a solid color, and on the other side a print. This way you get two looks in one.

On these series of pictures, I am wearing the ‘Coco One Piece Ava’ swimsuit. From one side it has a seashell black and white print and on the other side, it is blue. The pictures were made on Mallorca, Spain.

Recycled Swimwear

‘Let’s look fabulous and feel amazing, while we keep the oceans clean.’ #hallaxhalla

 

 

Econyl Beachwear

 

 

What I´m wearing:
Shirt // Second-hand made from organic cotton
Skirt // Second-hand from a charity shop
Bandana // Vintage shop
Swimsuit // Halla Halla

With Love,
Alisson

Check more sustainable swimwear brands here.

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Cotton VS Polyester

We are surrounded by fabrics. The clothes we wear, the sheets we sleep with, the upholstery on our furniture, the rug we walk on. We can’t avoid them.

Before the invention of polyester in 1941, most used fabrics were of natural origin. Wool, cashmere, silk, linen, hemp, and cotton. If you start reading the fabric labels of today, you will most likely find synthetic materials like rayon, acrylic, acetate, nylon, and polyester. Synthetic fabrics are cheaper than natural ones. But the environment and our health are paying the real price of those cheap synthetic fabrics.

The most popular synthetic fabric is polyester. It is cheap and versatile. This is the main reason it has become so famous in the garment industry. Besides the price, polyester is popular because of its properties. It is wrinkle-free, long-lasting and dries quickly. High-quality polyester keeps in shape well and doesn’t shrink. However, due to the rise of fast fashion, nowadays most of the polyester clothes on the market are cheap and of bad quality.

Polyester is a petroleum-based fiber. Each year more than 70 billion barrels of oil are used to produce it. It is made from a synthetic, polymer known as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in the combination of harmful chemicals. This all sounds extremely scientific, but basically, polyester is a kind of plastic. Which means that it is not biodegradable and it adds to the microplastic water pollution problem. Every time a polyester garment is washed, it releases tiny particles that end in our oceans. When we wear synthetic fabrics, our body is in touch with all the harmful chemicals that are used in the production process. Also with the dyes. In case of polyester, the dyes are 100% chemical.

Most of the polyester yarns are produced in third world countries where environmental regulations are non-existent. Air and water pollution is often discharged untreated, harming the communities that surround the manufacturing plants. The production of polyester uses less water than the production of cotton, but polyester cannot be dyed using natural dyes. This means that the damage of water supplies is higher.

The most popular natural fabric is cotton. These are the main properties: Cotton is soft and breathable. It absorbs moisture to keep body temperature stable. Depending on the weave and finish, cotton can be also strong and rough as canvas. Cotton fibers are easy to dye with natural dyes and making it a good option for sensitive skin. As a completely natural material grown in fields, cotton is biodegradable. The fabric will break down over time. But in order to be environmentally friendly, the cotton must be grown organic thus without chemicals. Because once the fabric starts to biodegrade, the chemical parts of it are broken down as well. These substances end up in the ground and damage the land, plants, and animals. Organic cotton does not do that. The production of organic cotton is made without the use of pesticides, synthetic growth regulators and the seeds are not genetically modified.

After learning all those facts, it is clear to me that cotton has a more positive impact on the skin and on the environment than polyester. For the outfit of today, I teamed up again with Matter: a brand that makes responsible clothes from natural fabrics.

On these series of pictures, I´m wearing ‘The lounge lunghi + Philippines teal’ pants from their new collection. The pants have a long fabric belt for an easy wrap around the waist.  These pants were printed in Jaipur and were stitched in Delhi. The material is a blend of 95% cotton and 5% linen. It was block-printed with azo-free dyes. The pictures were made in Amersfoort by photographer Marisa Elisa Photography.

Sustainable brandSustainable pantsMatter printsCotton and linnen pants

What I´m wearing:
Pants // Lunghi + Philippines teal from Matter (get it here)
Top // Second-hand from Second Lifestyle shop Amersfoort
Shoes // Ethletic
Bag 1 // From an artisan village in Colombia named Usiacuri
Bag 2 // Matt & Nat

Learn more about Matter and their sustainable and ethical production here.

With Love,

Alisson

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Sustainable Brand: Po-Zu

Fast fashion doesn’t only affect the clothing industry, but the accessories and footwear industry as well. Mass-production eats up resources and sends an average of three pairs of shoes per person to landfill every year. The quest for cheaper and faster production has encouraged the exploitation of workers through long hours, low payments and dangerous working conditions.

Luckily, there are some ethical footwear brands that are busy changing this situation. One of them is called Po-Zu. To them, the worker’s rights are very important. The shoes are made in factories where they are committed to the highest standards of ethical manufacturing, they have a strict non-toxic policy, and they recycle nearly all their waste products, including fabric off-cuts and water.

The materials of their shoes come from naturally renewable sources and are responsibly harvested. They don’t contain pesticides, bleaches or toxic dyes and are locally sourced wherever possible.

On these series of pictures, I am wearing the ‘low cut vegan lace-up’ shoes. They are made from organic cotton and fair trade rubber. The pictures were made in Amersfoort by photographer Marisa Elisa Photography.

Fair trade rubber shoesPo Zu shoesOrganic cotton canvas shoesEthically made shoes

What I´m wearing:
Shirt // Organic Basics Use this code to get 20% discount: OBxsimmonds20 Shop here
Leggings // Stronger
Jacket // Second-hand
Shoes // Po-Zu

With Love,
Alisson

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Second-hand Shopping in Amersfoort

The fashion industry is the second dirtiest industry in the world. When we think of pollution, it’s hard to imagine that our clothes can cause such a big damage. But the impact of the fashion industry on our planet is quite nasty. This industry is responsible for big amounts of water consumption (32 million olympic size swimming pools per year) and CO2 emissions (8% of global greenhouse emissions). Also, the textile dyeing is a huge polluter of water due to the toxic chemicals the production involves. Not to mention the number of tons of waste. 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.

But is there something we can do?

Yes! As conscious consumers, we can reduce the environmental cost of fashion. Choosing for sustainable brands instead of fast fashion ones, choosing for eco-friendly fabrics instead of synthetic ones and my favorite: 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 are my favorite second-hand shops in the city I live in: Amersfoort – The Netherlands.

Terre des Hommes winkel Amersfoort 
Address: Kamp 79
Charity second-hand shop. You can also donate clothes here.

Second Lifestyle Amersfoort
Address: Leusderweg 98
Second-hand shop. You can bring clothes to sell. It works with a 50/50 commision.

Emmaus Amersfoort
Address: Hendrik van Viandenstraat 4 & Havenweg 14-16
Charity second-hand shop. They have two shops. The one at Havenweg is the biggest. Go there with enough time. There is a lot of nice stuff, but you have to look well.

Vint Amersfoort
Address: Nijverheidsweg-Noord 74
Big warehouse with different vintage shops. You can find second-hand clothes in the shop of ‘Absolutely Everything’.

Kringloopcentrum Amersfoort
Address: Zwaaikom 21
Charity second-hand shop. This is one of my favorites. They restock the clothes section every day. The kringloopcentrum Amersfoort also has a pop-up shop in the center. It’s called ‘Pop-up winkel Oud Nieuw’. Every season they are in a different location. Check them on Facebook to be up to date about where they stand.

Women2day
Address: Brahmsstraat 8
Second-hand shop. Opens from Thursday to Saturday from 13:00 to 17:00

Processed with VSCO with a8 preset
Strolling around the city, wearing my all-second-hand outfit.

I hope you will give these shops a try. Do you know a second-hand shop in Amersfoort that is not on the list? Let me know in the comments below.

With Love,

Alisson

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Sustainable Brand: Weaverbirds

Weaverbirds is a small social enterprise based in Uganda and in Denmark. The owner Liv, is from Denmark but lived in Uganda for many years up. After having worked in development for a decade she wanted to do something different which had a more immediate impact on both socio-economically and environmentally development. These two ideas quickly merged into Weaverbirds.

The main focus of Weaverbirds is to be as sustainable as possible throughout the entire production chain. They only use local cotton certified CmiA (Sustainable by the Cotton made in Africa) initiative. This means that the cotton is grown by small-scale farmers working under good conditions and receiving a fair price for their products. The cotton plants are non-GMO, not irrigated, and harvested by hand without the use of chemical defoliant. The workers in the spinning mill and dye-workshop are furthermore hired under good conditions and not exposed to harmful chemicals. Their weavers get paid a fair wage and are ensured constant employment and therefore always know that they have a full salary at the end of the month. They also minimize waste through the design and cutting phase, as well as by using whatever scraps they have left for other alternative products.

Weaverbirds focus as well on giving back to the community. Every year they have a charity wrap where all proceeds go to a charity of their choice. In 2017 they donated to Maternity Worldwide’s project in Uganda and they give a percentage of the annual income to a maternal mental health project in eastern Uganda.

On these series of pictures, I show you how I wear my baby in the ‘Canopy’ wrap from Weaverbirds. The pictures were made in Amersfoort by the photographer Marisa Elisa Photography.

Weaverbirds
Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography
Ethically made in Uganda
Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography
Sustainable baby wrap
Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography
Weaverbirds wrap
Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography

What I´m wearing:
Shirt // Organic Basics Use this code to get 20% discount: OBxsimmonds20 Shop here
Pants // Pre-owned from my mother
Shoes // Po-zu
Wrap // Weaverbirds

I hope you get inspired and next when you need a baby wrap you support this beautiful company. Discover more about the world of Weaverbirds here: http://weaverbirds.ug/about/

With Love,
Alisson

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Sustainable Brand: O My Bag

Scrolling through the book of Marieke Eyskoot named ‘Dit Is Een Goede Gids’, I discovered the Amsterdam based brand ‘O My Bag’.

O My Bag makes bags and accessories from eco-leather. The brand works with a small tannery in Kolkata, India, which has been run by a married couple since the 1990s. For the leather, they use cow skins from the surrounding West Bengal area to minimize the transport. Since cows are sacred in India and are not eaten, the skins come from cows that can no longer work due to their age or illness.

Eco-leather is produced with a minimal environmental impact. The tanning process adheres to strict health and environmental guidelines to prevent negative consequences for the employees, the environment and the wearer of the bags. The eco tanneries have their own wastewater treatment facility that refrains from using harmful chemicals. The tannery with which O My Bag works has extreme measures in the field of waste reduction, energy, and water saving. They use recycled rainwater for the tanning process and daylight to save resources. O My Bag supervises and ensured that all environmental conditions and eco-integrity are preserved along the production process. From energy management to water control and employee safety conditions.

Besides being eco-friendly, O My Bag is also committed to paying fair wages to the Indian workers. They also grant health benefits, pension insurance, as well as receiving education and training. They make sure thought visiting twice per year, that everything is fair and honest. On the website you can see who are the workers, how are the working conditions and how does a day of work looks like.

The bags are sewn in a nearby factory at fair trade conditions. The seamstresses receive an above-average salary and they get extra health programs and further education.

The style of the bags is timeless. Due to the good quality, the bags can last for a very long time. From O My Bag’s collectionO My Bag’s collection, I got the ‘Navy Diaper Bag’. I like that the color and style can be worn for both mom and dad. The exterior of the bag is made of sturdy canvas. The handles are made from dark brown eco-leather. It also comes with an adjustable strap so the bag can be worn crossbody, carried over the shoulder, or attached to the stroller. The bag looks very practical with a lot of compartments for all that the baby needs on the go.

On these series of pictures, I took the bag out for a test and shot some pictures.
Those were made by photographer Marisa Elisa Photography.

Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography
Alisson Simmonds Ph Marisa Elisa Photography 2
Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography
Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography

More pictures using the bag for real will follow soon ;).

What I´m wearing:
Shirt, shoes, and jacket // Second-lifestyle Amersfoort (second-hand shop)
Leggings // Erlich textil
Bag // O My Bag
Stroller // Greentom

With Love,
Alisson

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Sustainable Brand: Paula Janz Maternity

Being pregnant and having a minimalistic wardrobe don’t go hand in hand. With a growing belly, it is likely to need new clothes. I tried to avoid getting new clothes as long as possible, but slowly the time came and the first thing I needed was a bigger jacket. The only thing I was sure about is that I didn’t want a jacket that I would only wear during the last months of the pregnancy. While searching I found the German brand ‘Paula Janz Maternity’. Paula is a fashion designer from Berlin. She makes maternity clothes for the modern mom. Combining urban, timeless and elegant looks, she makes pieces that are possible to wear during and after pregnancy. The pieces are made in Europe under fair conditions.

From her winter collection, I got the ‘Baby Love Parka’. The parka has a hoodie, two front pockets and it has an extra insert that you can adapt in the zipper. This extra insert is very practical for a growing belly. And later on, when the baby is born it’s also handy to have it because you can comfortably carry your baby in the coat.

On these series of pictures, I show you how I style the ‘Baby Love Parka’ from Paula Janz Maternity. The pictures were made by photographer Marisa Elisa Photography.


What I´m wearing:
Jacket // Paula Janz maternity
Leggings // Erlich textil
Shoes // Second-lifestyle Amersfoort (second-hand shop)
Backpack // JW PEI

With Love,
Alisson

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Sustainable Brand: JW Pei

Fake leather has been on the market for a very long time. The commonly used materials for synthetic leather are polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyurethane (PU), which are plastic-based materials. As conscious consumerism is rising and entering the mainstream the challenge is to find fake leather accessories made from ecologically friendly materials instead of plastic.  I did a little research and found a new brand that it’s making their best to make luxury bags as sustainable as possible. Let me introduce you to JW PEI. This luxury brand makes bags from recycled bottles. The recycling technology has evolved so much that nearly all polyester-based materials can be recycled. The bags and their lining are made from 100% recycled bottles. JW PEI only works with factories that are certified by GRS (Global Recycling Standards) and the Oeko-Tex Standard.

On these series of pictures, I show you how I style the JW PEI ‘Drawstring Backpack’  in black. For that, I made two different outfits. The pictures were made in Amersfoort by the photographer Marisa Elisa Photography.

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What I´m wearing:
Shirt // Lievevrouw second-hand market in Amersfoort
Leggings // Erlich textil
Shoes // Second-lifestyle Amersfoort (second-hand shop)
Backpack // JW PEI
Jacket // Paula Janz maternity

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What I´m wearing:
Shirt // Lievevrouw second-hand market in Amersfoort
Leggings // Erlich textil
Shoes // Second-lifestyle Amersfoort (second-hand shop)
Backpack // JW PEI
Jacket // Charity shop ‘Kringloop Amersfoort – Leusden’

If you would like to give it a try and get a bag from JW PEI, the code “as15off” gives you 15% off all the collection. Go to their website via this link: https://goo.gl/1HQkH8

With Love,
Alisson

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