LEATHER ALTERNATIVE​ FABRICS THAT SHOULD TAKE OVER THE FASHION WORLD

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

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

Ono leather althernative

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

THE TRUTH ABOUT NAIL POLISH

Let´s be honest, do you read the ingredients of the cosmetics you use? And do you know what are those ingredients? Well, I never cared. Why would I? I grew up using creams, shampoos, make-up and my favorite: nail polish. I was never aware of the ingredients until I started to walk this conscious path of mine. I do my best to stay away from animal products in my food, and now I am doing the same to stay away from cosmetics that have animal ingredients in it or has  been tested on animals. One day, out of curiosity, I took a nail polish bottle and I was surprised that I actually did not know any of these ingredients. While doing research I found out that some of the bottles containes toxic ingredients like:

-Toluene: a solvent, degreases the skin and may lead to inflammation.
-Dibutyl phthalate and triphenyl phosphate (TPHP): a plasticizer.
-Formaldehyde- resin: a colorless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical that is used in building materials and to produce many household products.
-Colophonium: a sticky flammable substance.
-Paraben: a chemical preservatives. It´s not proven to be bad, but also not proven to be totally ok to use it on a regular basis.
-Xylol: a solvent. May be a health hazard when absorbed through the skin and the respiratory tract.
-Acetone: a chemical solvent.
-Silicone: Recognize by the names that end in -cone or -siloxane.

Besides, some of the bottles contains animal-derived ingredients. Why on earth would there be animal-derived substances in your nail polish?! Still, I´m in shock. Animal-derived ingredients that can be found in nail polish are:

-Guanine: It might be listed as ‘pearl essence’. But guanine is derived from fish scales and acids that are located in animal tissue. You’re most likely to find it in products that have a shimmery, pearly effect. Or in glitter polish colors.
-Carmine: Red hues of nail polish are a warning sign, they often contain carmine. By boiling and crushing beetles, the red color is created and that’s what gives the color.
-Oleic Acid: Comes from the hard fat found at the animal’s kidneys, stomach, and other organs. In cosmetics, oleic acid can be used to thicken a solution.

One of my new goals is to find as much as possible animal-friendly products and add them to my daily basis. While searching for a vegan and non-toxic brand,  I found the German brand OZN. They are an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional nail polishes.

animal friendly nail polish

The nail polish looks just like a regular one. Though the smell is less strong and the covering is as good as a normal one. The paint dries very fast. When I used the color pink, I needed two coats, whereas the color red and black only needed one. The biggest surprise for me was the nail polish remover. It is odorless! And after I used it I felt my nails rather soft and oily than dry.

 

 

OZN Colors
Look at all these colors!

 

As you see above, OZN has a wide color palette. A bottle costs 14,90€.
You can shop them online HERE or at The Beauty Editor in Amsterdam at the Eerste Van der Helstraat 1 A25

Veganistisch nailpolish
Hello, non-toxic nail polish. You are here to stay 🙂

I hope you enjoy this post and please let me know in the comments below if you know of any other vegan, cruelty-free and less toxic nail polish brands.

With love,

alisson-simmonds-rosado-con-hoja

 

 

ETHICALLY MADE SHOES, ARE THEY MORE EXPENSIVE?

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

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

1. Veja and Adidas

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

2. Ethletic and Converse

Ethletic vs All stars 1

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

3. Nae and Vans

Nae vs Vans 1

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

4. Veja and New Balance

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

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

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

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

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

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

With Love,

alisson-simmonds-rosado-con-hoja

I WHITENED MY TEETH WITH BLACK POWDER

I am always in search of original – and all natural products. By coincidence this time, I found a product that helps whiten teeth. Let me introduce to you: CHARWHITE. This is an all natural teeth whitener that brightens and polishes teeth and it remineralizes and strengthens the enamel. For me, it is important to have a clean and white smile. I have used non-natural whitening stripes, but my teeth were left very sensitive then. So I’m happy that I have found a natural whitener. My teeth are not very yellow, but I drink a lot of tea and coffee which stains my teeth with the time. Anyway, they were less shiny and white than before.

I tried CHARWHITE for one month.

Before using chairwhite
Before using CHARWHITE
As you can see, my teeth are not very yellow, but they weren’t really white neither.

My first week had begun and I didn´t see a crazy difference. I was using it once per day, mostly at night and I kept on drinking coffee and tea as usual.

By the second week, I started to see the change. My teeth started to look shinier and cleaner.

 

By the third and fourth week, my teeth started to look whiter and shinier. I am very happy with the result.

How to use it:

How to use natural teeth whitener

  1. Dip a clean and wet toothbrush into CHARWHITE
  2. Brush in small, gentle circles for two minutes
  3. Keep your lips closed while brushing
  4. Spit carefully and rinse very well
  5. Use CHARWHITE daily andNote: do not inhale the powder

 

In my experience, the process with natural products takes a little bit longer than with harsh chemicals. It took me 8 to 10 days to see results. And since then, my teeth got only better. If you want to start using it, please remember that it might be different for everyone. Just be consistent and patient.
Currently, I use CHARWHITE at least three times per week. I encourage you to give it a try and experience with this black magic powder. You can buy it for €35,- HERE

Before & After:

CHARWHITE is made in Germany with high quality – and safe ingredients for the everyday use. The ingredients are activated coconut shell charcoal, calcium bentonite clay, organic orange peel powder, organic peppermint powder, limonene (from natural substances). Content: 50 ml averages 150 uses.

Get that gorgeous smile with the power of all natural ingredients today.

With Love,

alisson-simmonds-rosado-con-hoja

VEGAN STARTER TIPS

Today I´m celebrating 5 months of been vegan! Wuhuu and I couldn’t feel happier about it. As you might know, I have been conscious about fashion and support second-hand and ethical brands since a long time. Funny enough, I was never conscious of what I eat. Coming from Colombia, a land where if you don´t eat meat you get chicken, I grew up thinking that I needed to eat meet at least once per day

I started to get more awareness about the veil industry and the consequences to the environment when I watched the documentary of Leonardo Di Caprio “Before the flood”. I was in the mood for more documentaries about it and that´s when I watched Cowspiracy. After that, literaly from one day to the other I started my vegan journey. I still have a lot to learn, but after 5 months I feel confident to give my top 6 starters tips.

1. Clean up your shelves and fridge
Once you made the decision of start eating vegan, make sure that your house is vegan proof. Go through your shelves and fridge and put aside the nonvegan food you still have. You can then decide whether to finish it up or give it to your nonvegans friends and family. It is important that once you made the decision, your house is vegan proof at least in the kitchen.

2. Print out a poster of vegan nutrition
Hang posters on your fridge with information about where to find Calcium, Protein, Iron, vitamin D, B12, and Omegas. Those are the top nutrients that vegans may fall short on. You can go through Pinterest and choose the one you like the most. This one HERE was very helpful to me. With the pass of the time, you will learn this. It is important that you have them visible so that you eat enough of all the nutrients your body need. In HERE you can find more information about how much of each you should eat.

3. Stuff your shelves and fridge with vegan approved food.
Go for a big grocery shopping haul and get all the fruits and vegetables that are in season and that you like as well as all seeds, nuts and legumes and grains. As seeds and nuts, I  bought almonds, walnuts, pumpkin-, flax-, chia-, and sesame seeds. And legumes and grains I got kidney beans, red and brown lentils, green peas, peanuts, chickpeas, rice (integral), oats, corn, couscous (integral), quinoa (integral). This stash is basic for this new way of eating. For me, it lasted long until I needed to go to the supermarket again. This is helpful because you won´t run out of vegan things to eat and you can combine these ingredients with fruits and veggies.

4. Plan ahead and be prepared
Make sure you always have enough food that you can eat in your house, at work and basically in your bag. On my bag, I always carry with me an apple or any other fruit that won´t smash and dirty my bag, and I also have hummus sandwiches or peanut butter sandwich with me. I used to commute to Amsterdam and waiting in the station is the perfect moment to eat. If you are always prepared you won´t be hungry and you will save some money. 😉

5. Have fun!
Once you are all settled, you can start experimenting with new recipes and discover new fruits and vegetables. I live in The Netherlands and I have found great recipes via http://www.ah.nl. Simply type the ingredients you have + vegan and you will find a lot of recipes to choose from. This technic you can also use in Google.

6. Stay connected
The second I decided to been vegan I joined a couple of vegan communities that I find very helpful. It is important to find people like you, with the same struggles. I found very helpful people in these communities. If you are using Facebook, join some vegan groups and dare to ask questions and be active. Once in facebook, write down on the search function the word vegan and you will find groups and you can choose a few that are in your country and language. I started following also vegan blogs and vegan Instagram accounts.This has personally helped me to continue my journey as a vegan and feel connected to others.

If you want more information about the vegan lifestyle this is a list of films and documentaries that might help you to understand more about this topic:

Cowspiracy – Watch Here
Earthlings – Watch Here
Forks Over Knives – Watch Here
Food Choices – Watch Here
Food, Inc. – Watch Here

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead – Watch Here
Blackfish – Watch on Netflix!
Meet The Truth – Watch Here
Glass Walls – Watch Here

 

Dear veteran vegans, what would you add to the list? What are your tips for new vegans?
Are you already vegan? I made a copilation of 20 funny vegan meme. Check them HERE.

alisson-simmonds-rosado-con-hoja

TOP 20 FUNNY VEGAN MEMES

A little bit of vegan fun. As you know, I am celebrating my 5 months vegan anniversary. During this time I have been collecting favorite memes. Here they are for you to enjoy:
When you go into deep conversations with someone who understands you

 

life-as-a-vegan-e1490908688163.png

 

Vegan help

 

Vegan in The Netherlands

 

Vegan tips

 

vegans-of-the-world.png

 

new-life.png

 

Vegans

 

VEgana

 

Vegan how to

 

Vegan

 

Vegan fun

 

How to be veagn

 

The happy cow

 

Vegan lifestyle

 

Vegan challenge

 

Vegan life

 

Life vegan

 

Happy cow

 

images

 

Do you also like memes? Send me the link of your favorite in the comments below. 🙂

With Love,

alisson-simmonds-rosado-con-hoja

 

VEGAN & CRUELTY FREE MAKE UP HAUL

Last month I went to Berlin to visit my girlfriends who live there. As you may recall, I lived in Germany for eight years and I still have a lot of connections there. Every time I go to Germany I like to go shopping for vegan products. What I love about this country is that veganism is far developed already (further than The Netherlands)! All the restaurants I went to, had vegan options. And I do not only mean salad and fries! This time I went on the search for vegan and cruelty-free makeup and here is what I found.

Vegan and cruelty free make-up
Alverde natural cosmetics.

I went directly to the shop called “DM” and went straight ahead to their home brand section “Alverde”. This brand is one of the most famous certified natural cosmetic brands. Please note that not all their products are vegan, most of them are, but to be sure check if it has the V symbol at the back of the package

Alverde products:

  • don’t contain any synthetic fragrances or dyes
  • are free from derivatives of petroleum
  • are silicones- and derivatives free
  • do not contain any genetically modified substances
  • are all animal cruelty-free (they are not tested on animals)

For me this was motivating enough to get all my makeup essentials from this brand.

I bought ten things that I use on a regular basis. I don’t use all of this every day, but occasionally I use eye shadow, red lipstick and black mascara. For all this items I paid €33,60! Crazy right?! Next time you go to Germany, stop by at the DM and treat yourself with some vegan and cruelty-free makeup 😉

Vegan and cruelty free mascara
Liquid Eyeliner black €2,95
Vegan make up
Kompaktpuder TERRA €3,75
Vegan kosmetik
Nothing but VOLUME Mascara black €3,95

Alverde has more cosmetics than the ones I bought. You can check the complete collection here and make sure to visit the DM shop, next time you go to Germany.

Alisson Simmonds Alverde
This is me wearing Alverde products. I used the compact powder, the concealer, the liquid eyeliner, the rouge and the pink lipstick.

Check here more vegan and cruelty-free make up.

Do you know of any affordable vegan and cruelty-free brands in The Netherlands? Let me know in the comments below!

With love,

alisson-simmonds-rosado-con-hoja

SECONDHAND MARKET HAUL

Last month I joined a new flea market concept in Amersfoort that is called “2nd Hand Outfits Market”. I joined other girls and sold the clothes that I don´t wear anymore. The price per clothes rack is 25€. You’ll get 45 clothes hangers and space to put your shoes on the floor. You can put some bags on the side as well. I liked this market because it’s indoor, so you don´t have to rely on the Dutch weather.

The market is at “Sint Jorisplein”, a central spot in the shopping area of Amersfoort. It’s located between the H&M and the Bershka, a perfect place because it attracts a lot of people.

The shop is decorated with a vintage style and all decoration is for sale.

Second hand clothes

This was my clothes rack around 15:00 o’clock. I had more clothes than this but they were sold very fast in the morning. I had a lot of success with my rack and sold most of my clothes!  Since I was selling good, I went on to check the clothes from all the other sellers and I found some nice things for myself.

Second hand outfits market
Finally found a pink jacket!

I found a fake leather pink jacket! I have been looking for something pink for such a long time and finally found it (an outfit post will definitely follow soon). I also found black basic chino pants and black basic heels. The heels are like new! I can see that they weren’t on the street much. I might not use them often neither but this is the kind of shoes I like to use for special occasions.

Do you feel inspired? Do you want to sell or go shopping at the 2nd Hand Outfits Market? Come this weekend (1st and 2nd of April) and take a look at Sint Jorisplein in Amersfoort.
If you want to rent a clothes rack yourself, please send an email to miranda@buro-pit.nl.

Do you know any other second-hand markets I should visit in The Netherlands? Leave me your feedback on the comments below.

With love,

alisson-simmonds-rosado-con-hoja