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

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

CAN YOU BELIEVE THESE OUTFITS ARE FROM SECOND-HAND CLOTHES?

Thanks to my friends Gita and Tamara I discovered the second-hand world. Back when I was living in Cologne we used to go every Saturday to the “Unicenter flea market”. Once people started asking about where my clothes come from and how come they look so cool my fascination for second-hand shops and flea markets became so big that now over 80% of my clothes are second-hand and I am not ashamed of it. Through out last year I put up some outfits together that I showed on my Instagram. Here are 10 of my favorite looks:

1. 

Yellow jacket outfit
Picture by Marisa Elisa

What I´m wearing:
Jacket and top // Kringloop Amersfoort
Jeans // Street market at the Albert Cuypstraat in Amersfoort
Shoes // Not second-hand or ethically made – bought it before my conscious time

2.

Red dress outfit
Picture by Marisa Elisa

What I´m wearing:
Dress // Lievevrouw snuffelmarkt Amersfoort
Jacket // Kringloop Amersfoort
Boots // The Next Closet
Necklace and bracelet // via A Beautiful Story

3.

The Next Closet
Picture by Marisa Elisa

What I´m wearing:
Blazer, jeans, and shoes // The Next Closet
Bag // Baggin’ you (not vegan)

4.

Pink wall
Picture by Marisa Elisa

What I´m wearing:
Blouse // Charity shop “Terre des Hommes”
Jacket // Kringloop Amersfoort
Jeans // Preowned by my older sister
Boots // The Next Closet

5.

Bomber jacket outfit
Picture by Marisa Elisa

What I´m wearing:
Bomber jacket and jeans // Kringloop Amersfoort
Shoes // United Wardrobe

6.

Picture: Mirthe van den Berg

What I´m wearing:
Jacket and jeans //  Kringloop Amersfoort
Shoes // Preowned by my friend Alejandra A.

7.

Picture: Mitchel Lensink

What I´m wearing:
Turtleneck shirt // Kringloop Amersfoort
Denim skirt // Exchanged via  United Wardrobe
Jacket // Not second-hand or ethically made – bought it before my conscious time
Shoes // Kringloop Soest
Bag // Lievevrouw snuffelmarkt Amersfoort

8.

Picture: Mitchel Lensink

What I´m wearing:
Blouse // Humana second-hand shop in Berlin
Skirt // Preowned by my friend Laura
Shoes // Kringloop Soest
Jacket and bag // Lievevrouw snuffelmarkt Amersfoort

9.

Picture: Marisa Elisa

What I´m wearing:
Jacket // Lievevrouw snuffelmarkt Amersfoort
Jeans // The Next Closet
Shoes // Kringloop Amersfoort
Bag // Not second-hand or ethically made

10.

Picture: Gert Zomer

 

What I´m wearing:
Dress // Preowned by my older sister
Shoes // Kringloop Amersfoort
Bandana // Vintage shop in Berlin PICKnWEIGHT

I hope you like these outfits and get inspired to go to the closest second-hand and charity shop before you go to the regular places you like to go shopping.

With Love,

alisson-simmonds-rosado-con-hoja

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

SaveSave

MY FIRST WEEK HAVING A MINIMALIST WARDROBE

The project 333 is the minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to create, and live with a wardrobe of 33 items or less for 3 months. One week ago I started it and this is how my week looked like:

Friday 2nd of June

 


Saturday 3rd of June

 

 


Sunday 4th of June

 

 


Monday 5th of June

 

 

 

Tuesday 6th of June

 

 

 

Wednesday 7th of June

 

 


Thursday 8th of June

 

 

Learning points:
Don’t trust the weather. On Friday I went with a friend to an open air food festival. The weather was perfect. 27° and sunny. After the festival, we decided to go to a pub but before, we had to stop at my friend´s place and she lent me long pants because the temperature suddenly began to drop. I cheated a little bit, but that also reminded me to be prepared because here in The Netherlands the weather is very treacherous.

Good quality jeans are a must. The black jeans I have been using for the past week, are from a fast fashion brand and the quality is not the best. I have used it 4 days in the past week and I can see now that they won´t make it alive this tree months. I will eventually need to replace them. An update on this will follow.

Better care for your clothes. Now that I have fewer clothes, I feel more responsible for taking care of them. I am not washing the “dirty” clothes as much as I used to. Every time I get the chance, I hang the used clothes in the fresh air and when I have them back they smell fresh and I can use them again.

Next week more updates,

With love,

nombre-en-pink

 

SaveSaveSaveSave

THESE ARE MY CLOTHES FOR THE NEXT THREE MONTHS

My wardrobe for the next three months will only consist 33 items! Well, actually 32! On my last post, I explain the rules and give tips for the ‘challenge 333’. You might first read that post if you still haven’t.

The choosing process was easier than I thought. First I gathered all my clothes and hung them on an empty clothes rack. After that I grabbed boxes and labeled them:

Love: I love these items. They fit me well and I wear them frequently.
Maybe: I want to keep this but I don’t know why.
Donate/Sell: These items don’t fit my body or my life.
Trash: These items are in poor condition. You can bring them to a charity shop.

 


This is how it looked when I was done sorting out the items:

 


When I was finished, I put that “Trash” box away and brought it to the charity shop. I started uploading the clothes of the”Donate” box to the second-hand apps that I use. If they don´t get sold within a month, I will bring that box to the charity shop as well. The “Maybe” box, I kept until I was done with choosing out of the 33 items and then I put it in my attic. Out of sight.

On my “Love” pile were more than 33 items. I had to go through it again to downsize it. While doing this I was thinking about what I really like to wear and what is appropriate for the coming summer season. After going trough the love pile one last time again, these are my final items:

 

 

7 tops, 3 blouses, 4 bottoms, 2 dresses, 2 jumpsuits, 2 layers, 4 jackets, 6 shoes, 2 bags.
32 items in total.

Things I realized while doing this:
– 90% of my clothes are second-hand
– I like to wear basic clothes.
– I don´t like to wear jewelry. I own very little necklaces and bracelets.
– I don´t own any nice bag. The ones I choose are more because of convenience. I need them when I go out. My next investment is going to be an ethically made bag that I  truly love.
– I don´t own much ethically made clothes as much as I will like to. This challenge is meant to keep me from shopping but eventually, I will like to replace some of my items with similar ones but ethically made. I will do this little by little.
– I chose way too many jackets and shoes. It´s hard for me to decide which ones should stay or not.
– I don´t own any sandals or flip flops. I left some space in the 33 items so that I still can add a pair of sandals to my wardrobe. This season really asks for it. I am looking for something ethically made or second-hand. But the condition is that I have to really love them.

Before and After

 

I hope you enjoy this blog post and get inspired to join me in this challenge,

With love,

alisson-simmonds-rosado-con-hoja

PROJECT 333: THE RULES

Minimalism. A word that I heard first back in university when I was studying art history. Back then my interest began to show but I never did anything about it. A couple of years have passed and since I discovered Marie Kondo and the book “The life Changing Magic of Tidying up”, my fascination for minimalism came back, and this time I decided to start decluttering my house. And so I started my journey towards a simpler life. When I watched the film “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things”, I felt an even stronger need of owning less stuff. One of the things that caught my attention the most is the “Project 333”. This project is a minimalist fashion challenge created by Courtney Carver. The challenge invites you to create, and live with a wardrobe of 33 items or less for 3 months. And I decided to do it!

The Rules:
33 Items in 3 Months This includes clothing, shoes, jewelry, and accessories.

What is NOT included in the 33 items: “wedding ring or another sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off, underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear,  and workout clothing (you can only wear your workout clothing to workout)”

No shopping during the experiment! Trade the time that you would normally use to shop to do productive activities such as talking to a friend, reading a book, taking a walk, call a family member etc.
Consider that you are creating a wardrobe that you can live, work and play in for three months. Remember that this is not a project in suffering. If your clothes don’t fit or are in poor condition, replace them.
I decided to make this challenge from June 1st – August 31st.

I decided to do this challenge because
-I want to get to know my real style. I own a lot of clothes that I think I like, but I end up wearing the same clothes. I want to be able to understand my style and stop investing in things I know for sure I won´t wear.
-I don´t want to feel guilty anymore when I look at my clothes and see that t-shirt that I “love” but never wear or those shoes that I knew I didnt need but still bought.
-I want to get better in decision making and want to trust more my intuition. Owning too many things that I don´t use may confuse me  and make it hard for me to make choices. If you also want to join this challenge, it is important that you find your reasons WHY you want to do this as well.

These are then the steps to proceed:
Gather all your clothes and put them on your bed or all on the floor.(Please note that if you haven’t set aside your winter clothes, this is the time to do it.) Then you start categorizing every item and place them in one of this 4 piles:

Love: I love these items. They fit me well and I wear them frequently.
Maybe: I want to keep this but I don’t know why. (You know you have those items)
Donate/Sell: These items don’t fit my body or my life.
Trash: These items are in poor condition. You can bring them to a charity shop.

When you are done piling all your clothes put the trash and donate pile away inmediatly. And then you go trough your “love” pile and choose the 33 items you love the most. Once you have chosen your 33 items, take the rest of your “love” pile and the “mabe” pile and pack them into bags or boxes, seal it, and place it out of sight.

Project 333
These are all my clothes. I will choose my 33 items out of here. Some t-shirts and other things are on the laundry so I will add them as soon as they are dry.

My wardrobe for the next three months will only consist of 33 items. For my experiment I am not including my rain jacket because I live in The Netherlands, and my main transportation is my bike and I need this in case it rains, and it rains a lot in here.
I will keep you updated with my outfits, along with my triumphs and challenges. Let me know if you want to join me and exchange tips and tricks. Send me a message on Facebook or Instagram.

Wish me luck!

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

 

 

DUTCH FAIR FASHION BRANDS IN AMERSFOORT

Since I started to be more conscious about fashion, I get a lot of questions about where to shop in Amersfoort, the city I live in. I did my research and found three Dutch brands that do a good job towards a sustainable way of producing clothes. This is what I found out.

  1. Expresso

Expresso

Expresso is a Dutch fashion brand with a sustainable and social responsibility mission. The brand is committed to a socially responsible production and ensures good working conditions in the factories, sustainable materials and they donate to charities and social initiatives. On their website they give you this tips about how to maintain your clothes longer: 

  • You don’t always need to wash your clothes after you wore it. Sometimes
    you just need to hang them out in the fresh air and that is enough.
  • Use an eco-friendly detergent. Check on the packaging for the EU Ecolabel.
  • If your clothes are not so dirty, you can wash them at 30°.
  • Air dry your clothes instead of using a drying machine.
  • Instead of throwing away clothes, donate them to an organization that makes other people happy with it. Or they might recycle it.

When you are in the Langestraat you definitely have to stop by at this shop and check out their collection. The address is Langestraat 22 3811 AG Amersfoort
The price range is between €24,-  and €200,-.

Read more about Expresso and sustainability here (in Dutch)

Expresso sustainable shop
The lady that works here is really nice! She was kind to answer all my questions about sustainability. Go there and have a chat!
Expresso clothes
Since 2004 Expresso works with the Fair Wear Foundation. This organization monitors the working conditions in sweatshops.

This picture shows the fitting room. They have a pinkish tropical wallpaper. #inlove

2. Anna van Toor

AnnaToor
The mannequins are cool, right?

Anna van Toor is a Dutch fashion brand for women. They are a socially responsible company that cares for the environment. Since February 2013 Anna van Toor is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation.

The address is Langestraat 83 3811 AC Amersfoort
The price range is between €50,-  and €200,-.
Please note that Anna van Toor also sells other brands that are not proven to be sustainable. The brand that is proven is the house brand “Anna” and “Anna Blue”.

Read more about Anna van Toor and sustainability here (in Dutch).

Anna van Toor

Anna v Toor

 

3. Vanilia

Vanilia Amersfoort Langestraat

The Dutch brand Vanilia designs and produces high-quality clothes for women. With the establishment of Vanilia, more than twenty years ago, a private studio was set up in Turkey’s Cappadocia. Vanilia has always been responsible for the entire production and welfare of all employees and invests in good working conditions and secure workspaces. Vanilia is also a member of the Fair Wear Foundation.

Next time you go shopping in the Langestraat stop by and check their collection and the beautiful location.
The address is Langestraat 9 3811 AA Amersfoort.
The price range is between €15,-  and €300,-.

Read more about Vanilia here (in Dutch)

Vanilia Langestraat
The Vanilia boutique in Amersfoort.

I hope you like this post and I hope you will consider these shops when you go to Amersfoort. Please let me know in the comments below if you know more Dutch sustainable brands.

With Love,

alisson-simmonds-rosado-con-hoja

 

 

 

 

ONE YEAR ON INSTAGRAM. MY EXPERIENCE AND TIPS

Around a year ago I started my Instagram account. Back then I had no job and as a quick solution for my economic problem, I began selling my clothes that I didn’t wear anymore. I quickly fell in love with the platform and since then I have been posting pictures of the outfits I am selling. It worked surprisingly good! My first idea was to start an online shop. I didn’t know much about it but that was the concept I chose.
This is how my first post looked like:

coconutsshop

I have been very consistent and posting pictures every day. I regularly go to flee markets, secondhand- or charity shops and look for nice items to make my outfits complete. Since the beginning it has been important for me to make realistic outfits. I love to see other girls on Instagram who are looking all styled and fashionable, but sometimes I feel that I only would wear that kind of clothes on fashion events and not in my ‘everyday life’.    That´s why I like to make basic and practical outfits. The nice thing about making outfits from secondhand clothes is that I have to be creative, because I never know what I might find! I make combinations that are stylish, some are pretty basic and other are vintage. But I always make an outfit that I would wear on a regular day.

Besides selling my clothes via direct messaging on Instagram, I use amazing platforms like Marktplaats, Tradono, United Wardrobe and of course The Next Closet.

 

Throughout this year I have learned a lot about Instagram and here are some tips for starting your own account:

1. Have a clear concept and explain it on your bio
It´s ok to not know where you want to go, but you should know where you want to start and be as clear as possible in your description. This way people know why to follow you.

2. Be consistent
Find out your concept, keep posting pictures and use the same filters so your feed looks attractive.


3. Stay true to yourself
It´s ok to check out the competition, but don´t look too long! Remind yourself of the reason why you started and keep in mind your own concept. Always remember: Your mission is to become better today than you were yesterday.

4. Don´t be afraid of showing your face
It took me some posts to start showing more of myself in the pictures. I never felt confident or pretty enough to be on my pictures. I have some self-esteem issues that I am working on, but as soon as I felt better about myself and let the bad thoughts go, I enjoyed more of what I do. I love to plan the photo-shootings and the outcome.

5. For foolish talk, deaf ears
Stand up for yourself and learn to trust in you. This is something you have to practice. It is like exercise, the more you do it the stronger you are. A lot of people have an opinion about what you do and how you should do it. It´s always good to listen to the feedback. Give yourself some time to think about it and if it can help you to improve yourself. Take it and see how you can work on it and if it doesn’t add any value to you, just… let.. it… go!

6. Instagram keeps on changing, so why don’t you…
The past year I have been developing my concept and I have been in a constant change. I wanted to be a shop, now I just love to promote secondhand clothes, write about it and occasionally make videos about it. And that’s ok! As soon as I realized that, I changed my bio and my account name to alisson_simmonds and I am doing whatever feels right for me to do.

Now that I look back, I see how much I have developed in a positive way. I started this adventure as a part-time hobby and now it´s becoming part of my life. I love second hand and this has led me to a more sustainable lifestyle. I will keep on sharing it with you. From now on I want to add sustainable brands to my outfits as well and who knows what happens later on! Maybe I will show my make-up tips, beauty products and my vegan lifestyle of course. But the most important thing I have learned this year is to do ONE… THING… AT… THE… TIME.

What have you learned about Instagram so far?
Share it on the comments!

With Love,

nombre-en-pink

 

 

 

Glitter And Glamour

6

 

 

Second hand outfit of the day

I am wearing:

Dress // size S // Vintage // bought it in the Saturdays flea market in Amersfoort
Blazer // size 36 // H&M // got from my dutch sister Sophia
Shoes // size 38 // Graceland // bought them in the Saturdays flea market in Amersfoort

Do you like my clothes and want to buy an item? Send me a message here.

Photography by Marisa Elisa

Vintage And Gold

 

 

6-dsc_2454

1-dsc_2433“Normal is nothing more than a cycle on a washing machine.” – Whoopi Goldberg

Second hand outfit of the day
I am wearing:

Blouse // size S// Vintage // found in the charity shop “De kringloop” in Amersfoort
Jacket // size L // Vintage // found in the charity shop “De kringloop” in Amersfoort
Skirt // size S // Vintage // found it in the 2hand shop “Kleidermarkt Garage” in Berlin
Shoes // size 38 // Graceland // got from my friend and photographer Marisa

Do you like my clothes and want to buy an item? Send me a message here.

Photography by Marisa Elisa