Pink Skirt Outfit

Sustainable Outfit Of The Week

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 of 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

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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

With Love,
Alisson

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12 Loco Things Dutchies Do Part 2

This month I celebrate that I live in The Netherlands for three years. It’s the third country I have lived in and the third one I call home. Before NL I lived in Germany. I thought I didn’t need to integrate or learn about the culture anymore. But the past three years have totally shown me the opposite. I already blogged about 12 crazy things that Dutchies do, but today, I want to share with you twelve more habits that I haven’t seen people doing in any other place I’ve lived before. Get ready!

1. Bread
Dutch people love bread. For breakfast and for lunch, bread is the Dutchies favorite food. Every Saturday before doing grocery shopping, a good Dutchie makes space in the freezer to be sure that the four extra loaves of bread will fit so a happy week can begin.  Dutchies know every trick on how to unfroze bread. The favorite trick is to put the bread on top of the heather or on a spot where a sun ray is shining.

2. A closet full of food
A typical Dutchie house has a special place, mostly under the stairs. Full of food! They call it a ‘voorraadkast’. Three pots of peanut butter, five bars of chocolate, twenty different kinds of cookies, chips, cans of soup, bottles of cola, beer, cleaning stuff… Dutchies are well prepared in case of… war? a surprise party?
Dutch Funny Habits

3. Birthday calendar
The best place to remember when ‘tante Marijke’ has birthday number sixty, is in the comfort of the toilet. Dutchies love to hang birthday calendars in their bathrooms. More precisely in the guest bathroom. It’s very handy to remind yourself that you have to send a ‘verjaardagskaart’ when you are doing your business.

4. But please only one
When you get invited to have a coffee at the house of the parents of your Dutchie partner, remember to answer with the word ‘lekker’ when they ask you if you want coffee. Besides coffee, you will be offered cookies, chocolate OR cake. OR, not AND. This means you are expected to eat only this one thing you choose. If you happen to eat more than one piece, you can expect a comment like ‘Oh, but you already had one’ or ‘you must be hungry’. It makes you feel very guilty about eating two or more pieces of sweet. This rule applies to birthdays as well. There might be three different cakes. But you are allowed to choose only one piece.
Dutch Vlaai

5. Is water not ok?
As soon as you visit a Dutchie, you will be asked ‘Wat wil je drinken?’ (What do you want to drink?). Coffee, tea, something fresh, juice? You are not even done hanging your coat and you are already welcomed with that question. If you politely answer the question with just some tap water, your Dutchie host will surprisingly repeat that you could get a soda or a juice instead. Dutchies don’t like to offer water. I guess they don’t want you to think that they are cheap?

6. Camping
A well-respected Dutchie goes or has been going to ANWB’s recommended campings of the south of France and Italy in the summer. When I hear my Dutch partner talk about camping, I imagine a tent in nature, ‘The Revenant’ style. Oh, how wrong I was. Dutchies go camping deluxe. They take their whole house with them (camping version). From cutlery, pans, pots, cups, chairs, fridge, heater, veranda to air mattress plus bed. Dutchies have all they need to go camping for weeks. The campings have, all they need to survive in nature. Washing machines, restaurants, swimming pool, disco, pubs…
Dutch Camping7. The (test) emergency alarm
Don’t be scared if you hear a frightening sound on the streets in the middle of the day. It’s not that the Hunger Games have started. It’s probably 12:00am on the first Monday of the month. The day where the emergency alarm gets tested in the whole country. Dutchies are used to it and just ignore it. I keep on fantasizing about being the chosen one to represent my district. Now for real. What happens if there is an emergency on the first Monday of the month at 12 o’clock?

8. Dus
If you want to show off in front of your Dutch friends or colleagues, just add the word ‘dus’ (‘so’) in all of your sentences. At the beginning or at the end, Duchies use the word ‘dus’ a lot! It can be used to communicate a wide range of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. It can be everything from an angry stopword to a suggestive come on and more.

9. Fireworks
Most countries will have a few safe firework displays on New Year’s Eve. It starts at midnight and lasts around 20-30 minutes. And that’s it with the fireworks. Everyone can go back to the party. On the other hand, in The Netherlands, the fireworks are the party. Every year Dutchies spend a lot of money and go fireworks-mad. The steady stream of fireworks begins the 31st of December around noon. Climaxing with utter chaos at midnight. Grown-ups and !children! will light up the fireworks one after another until around 2:00am. I’ve never seen anything like this. I might be a party pooper, but this custom I dislike a lot. And by the way, my dog as well (he’s from Spain).

10. Dutch old houses… why?
Most of the old houses in The Netherlands are designed very weirdly. In theory, the idea is good. It’s all about hygiene. But in practice: super annoying. I am talking about having the toilet separate from the shower. Not only in a different room but on another floor! And how about the mini sink that you can’t actually use, so you end up washing your hands in the kitchen. And please! Why old houses have dangerous stairs?

11. Geslaagd!
Walking around the city at around June – July you will wonder two things. The first is why do Dutchies hang the Dutch flag in the middle of the summer. And the second is why is there a backpack hanging below the flag? Well, Dutchies are very proud to announce that they have a graduated kid from school. So proud the whole neighborhood should know. I think this weird tradition is actually cool! I guess this is a way of saying goodbye to school and embrace new changes.
Funny Dutch Habits

12. December
December is the most wonderful time of the year. Dutchies makes sure of that. The celebrations start on December 5th with Sinterklaas. A holy old man that comes all the way from Spain on a steamboat to bring you presents. You set your shoe by the chimney and Sinterklaas, fills it with treats. Then the 24th there’s Christmas evening, the 25th is the first Christmas day where Santa Claus (or the Kerstman) brings more gifts. And because two days of Christmas is too less to get around to all friends and family Dutchies also celebrate the second Christmas day on the 26th. So much Christmas. I love it!
Sinterklaas and AmerigoI´m going to leave the ‘haring”, the real-life doll when someone turns 50 and some more loco things for next year. For now, I can only say that even though the Dutch culture is different than mine, I have learned to like it and embrace it. Some things I find funny, others I really like and I´m learning from them.
Thanks to all the Dutchies that have embraced me and made me feel welcome in The Netherlands the past years.

With love,

Alisson

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Read 12 loco things Dutchies do part 1

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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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: 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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

With Love,

Alisson

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How To Wear All-black Outfits

Black is my all-time favorite color. In psycology, the color black is linked to power. It’s an intimidating color and indicates strength and discipline. Black doesn’t usually express emotions, rather, it conceals them, giving the person in black an air of superiority. The color black is also considered to be elegant and chic. A black outfit can be seen as more fancy than a colorful one. To me, it is my go-to color whether I have a special event or don’t know what to wear on a regular day. It never disappoints me in making me feel stylish and confident. Just like it does with me, I believe that black makes everyone look great. It might sound easy but it can be hard sometimes to combine all-black outfits. I have gathered a few tips to help you wear black:

  • Combine different fabrics and textures. For example cotton, leather-look, linen, tweed. And think of shiny, matt, sparkly and so on.
  • Mix a fitted piece and a wider piece in the same outfit. When you wear skinny pants, you can wear a wide sweater or blouse. When you wear a tight top, you can wear a wide skirt or pants.
  • Add a little bit of color. Go with a colorful bag -shoes, a bold hat or a vintage bandana. Jewelry is also a good option to make the outfit interesting.
  • Wear a bold lipstick color. This is my personal favorite tip to make an all-black outfit look stylish. The good news is that you can combine ANY color from red to purple.

I have gathered my favorites all-black outfits to inspire you:

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All-black outfit combined with golden shoes. Picture by: Marisa Elisa Photography
8
All-black outfit combined with red Converse shoes. Picture by: Marisa Elisa Photography
8 SalonkleinscharigAmersfoort-14
Wearing black and a red lipstick. Picture by: Anouk Fotografeert
12
All-black outfit combined with fishnet tights. Picture by: Mitchel Lensink
7
All-black outfit combined with a lace top and white sneakers. Picture by: Marisa Elisa Photography
4
All-black outfit combined with a colorful bandana. Picture by: Gert Zomer
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All-black outfit combined with dark red shoes and blue nails. Picture by: Mitchel Lensink
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All-black outfit combined with golden shoes and purple lipstick. Picture by: Marisa Elisa Photography
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All-black outfit combined with sparkly and matt fabrics. Picture by: Marisa Elisa Photography
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All-black outfit combined with a red beanie. Picture by: Mitchel lensink

With Love,
Alisson

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Sustainable Brand: Matter Prints

Fair fashion has the bad reputation of being boring and basic. It took me some time until I found MATTER: a brand that makes fashionable and responsible clothes.

Socially responsibility and transparency it’s at the core of MATTER. Their philosophy focus on:
– slow production by choosing quality over quantity
– slow design by collaborating with rural artisans and let them incorporate their cultural heritage in the patterns and techniques
– slow fashion by creating timeless pieces
From design to production the garment takes up to 6 months.

On these series of pictures, I´m wearing the “Sideswept Dhoti Trikora” pants. Inspired by the multifold drapes of the Indian dhoti, this version comes in the geometric Trikora pattern. This pants were weaved in Pochampally and were stitch in Delhi. The material is 100% cotton, selectively bundled and dyed by hand with azo-free dyes, the threads are then hand-loomed.
The pictures were made by the talented photographer Marisa Broekhuizen Check her work HERE.

Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography

 

Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography
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Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography

What I´m wearing:
Pants // Sideswept dhoti from Matter (get it here)
Blouse and hat // Second-lifestyle Amersfoort (second-hand shop)
Shoes // Kringloop Amersfoort (charity shop)
Nailpolish // Color “Ebony” from OZN (get it here)

With Love,
Alisson

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Yellow Outfit Ideas

The color yellow represents sunshine, happiness, positivity, clarity, energy and other positive feelings. Still, it is a complicated color to use on a regular basis. I wanted to experiment a little bit more with that color and realized that I do like it, and it fits good with my skin color. While second-hand hunting I found this yellow top and I made it part of my 33 items.
Hese are my favorite pictures wearing it:

Second hand clothesSustainable fashionFashionistaFair FashionOutfit post

These series of pictures were made by the photographer Marisa Broekhuizen Check her work HERE.

What I´m wearing:
Yellow top // Second Lifestyle Amersfoort
Black destroyed pants // Kringloop Amersfoort
Birkenstock sandals // Episode Utrecht
Bandana // Vintage shop in Berlin

With Love,
Alisson

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