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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Top 10 Organic Cotton T-shirts

Summer is just around the corner! Let’s try to make this coming season greener than it already is. How? By investing in organic and ethically made T-shirts. You might ask yourself why to invest in organic cotton? Here some facts:
– Organic cotton is grown without the use of insecticides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
– It protects the farmers, from being exposed to toxic chemicals.
– It eliminates the greenhouse gas emissions created through the production of chemical fertilizers.
– The soils remain healthy and sequester more carbon helping to mitigate climate change.
– Water consumption is reduced as well as the C02 emissions per tonne of cotton fiber.
Today I listed out my favorite sustainable T-shirt brands for you:

1. White T-shirt from Organic Basics

Organic cotton women's tee

Basic T-shirt made of 100% organic cotton. Available in black or white.
Price €32,-
Use this code to get 20% discount: OBxsimmonds20
Shop here

2. Bisou on Stripes from Armedangels

Stripes t-shirt organic cotton Armedangels
Picture from armedangels’s website

Striped T-shirt made of 100% organic cotton. Available in navy/white or red/white.
Price €39,90
Shop here

3. Ribbed T-shirt from Shop Saar

 

 

 

Made from a sturdy ribbed fabric of 95% organic cotton and 5% elastane. Available in petrol blue, pink, henna red and light blue. You can choose the kind of neck and sleeve you prefer.
Price €55,-
Shop here

4. Red heart T-shirt from Real Fake

Real fake organic tee
Picture from Geitenwollenwinkel’s website

White oversized T-shirt with a heart print at the heart height. Ethically made of 100% organic cotton. Available with a red or blue heart.
Price €45,-
Shop here

5. Basic T-shirt from Noumenon

 

 

 

Basic T-shirt made of 100% organic cotton.
Price €55,-
Shop here

6. Bonita T-shirt from Thinking MU

white organic tee
Picture from Sophie Stone’s website

The shirt has the text ‘Bonita’ embroidered above the left chest, which means ‘beautiful’. Made of 100% organic cotton.
Price €39,95
Shop here

7. Fake T-shirt from Loenatix

Loenatix organic tee
Picture from Loenatix’s website

Black T-shirt made of 100% organic cotton. The shirt is printed in Amsterdam with waterbased ink.
Price €32,50
Shop here

8. Human BeIN from Ipsilon Paris

 

 

 

T-shirt made of 100% organic cotton. The text is printed with water-based ink. The star is embroidered.
Price €70,-
Shop here

9. Little donkey from Armedangels

 

 

 

T-shirt made of 100% organic cotton. Available in white or grey.
Price €39,90
Shop here

10. Simone from Belle’s Club Amsterdam

 

 

 

This one is not organic but made it to the list due to its sustainability efforts. This shirt is designed in Amsterdam and made in India with wind energy. The Simone tee is made of 70 percent recycled cotton and 30 percent recycled polyester.
Price €39,-
Shop here

I hope you get inspired and next time you are looking for t-shirts, give it a try and look for organic cotton as the main fabric. If you are out of a budget, try to go to a second-hand shop first, before buying fast fashion brands. There are a lot of ‘old’ clothes ready to have a ‘new’ life.

With Love,

Alisson

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30+ Shops To Buy Organic Clothes For Babies and Children

As soon as I discovered I was pregnant, my search for sustainable baby clothes started. I want my baby to wear natural fibers and pieces that are made for children, not ‘by’ children. Here is a list of brands that I have gathered so far:

4 Natural Kids
Handmade organic cotton baby products.

Amy and Ivor
Vegetable leather mocassins for babies.

Baby Verhip
Sets of 100% organic cotton. GOTS certified. Comfortable for babies and practical for parents.

Bamboom
Bamboo Baby bedding and fashion. Dutch design. 100% produced in Italy.

Carlijn Q
Organic apparel for kids. Run by a Dutch momboss from Rotterdam.

Dilling
Bio wool clothes for babies and children. Wool regulates your child’s body temperature throughout the year and also reduces the risk of grabbing a cold. Dilling offers organic baby underwear in different designs and colors.

Picture: https://www.kleinebaasjes.nl

Disana
Bio and fair trade certified brand for babies, kids, and home. Made in Germany.

Engel Naturtextilien
Organic underwear and clothes. Made in Germany.

Fresk
100% organic cotton and fair baby and kids clothes. Fresk designs garments to make life cheerful and colorful.

Gray Label
Organic apparel for the little minimalist. From newborn to 10 years old. 100% organic fabrics.

Hulaaloop
Rental clothes for babies and kids. Amsterdam based. Circular economy. Run by mompreneurs Emma and Puck

Iek & Jet
Organic baby and kidswear brand. From size 56 to size 116. Run by Iek and Jet. They design and produce the collections themselves, using organic fabrics.

Picture: https://nixnut.nl

Igi Natur
Organic Baby Clothes from 0 to 6 years.

Imps & Elfs
Organic apparel and lifestyle brand. For babies and kids. Dutch Design.

Kidscase
Freestyle, versatile, fair and organic. Amsterdam-based baby and children’s clothing brand for up to 10 years.

Kindzoblij
Fairtrade children’s clothes. From size 50 to 152.

Kleine Baasjes 
Organic and sustainable baby and kids wear. Handmade in The Netherlands

Mini Rodini
Spanish based brand. Cool and organic clothes for kids. Member of the fair wear foundation.

Picture: https://www.shopsaar.nl

Nixnut 
Fairtrade baby brand from The Netherlands. Organic and soft materials. Natural colors and comfortable fittings for newborns and kids up to 4 years.

Noeser
Children’s clothes from organic cotton. GOTS certified. Dutch brand.

Popupshop
Organic basics for kids

Saar
100% fair & organic handmade fashion. GOTS certified. Run by Saar based in Arnhem.

Picture: https://www.noeser.eu/nl

WEBSHOPS WITH DIFFERENT BRANDS:

Daily Brat
Organic apparel and lifestyle items for your little one. Shipping worldwide from Amsterdam.

Faam
Antwerp based multi-brand web/shop with eco, fair and sustainable fashion for men, women, baby, and kids.

Goodmorning Sunshine
Online kids boutique. From 0 to 14 years old.

Greenjump
Biologic and fair-trade online store. More than 2000 products from brands where beautiful and convenient is just as important as sustainable and fair production.

Lidor
Online store for Babies and children. 

Little King Arthur
Online concept store. From 0 to 7 years old. With organic unique brands. Run by mothers Nicole and Marilyn. Made in The Netherlands.

Petozzi
Online store for Babies and children. 

Purestarters
Fair and pure clothes for children.

Waschbaer
Eco webshop for the whole family.

CUSTOME MADE:

A Gift
Handmade children clothes. Using GOTS certified fabrics. Run by Astrid.

Kaatje Pluk
Unique and original baby clothes and accessories. Organic cotton fabrics available. Run by Karen.  

XOOZ
High-quality Handmade Goods. Play and chill in style.

With Love,
Alisson

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9 SWEATERS FOR A COZY WINTER

Winter is coming! Let’s try to make this coming season as green as possible by investing in fairly made and organic sweaters. You might ask why to invest in organic cotton? Here some facts:
– Organic cotton is grown without the use of insecticides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
– It protects the farmers, from being exposed to toxic chemicals
– It eliminates the greenhouse gas emissions created through the production of chemical fertilizers.
– The soils remain healthy and sequester more carbon helping to mitigate climate change.
– Water consumption is reduced as well as the C02 emissions per tonne of cotton fiber.

Today I listed out my favorite sustainable sweaters for you:

1. Sausage dog sweatshirt from Armedangels

Sausage sweater

For the doggie lovers. Made from 100% organic cotton.
Price: €49,90

2. Red sweater from GOAT organic apparel

Unisex cut sweatshirt with a relaxed fit silhouette. Made from soft organic cotton.
Price: €44,95
(See here for outfit inspirations with this sweater)

3. Grey asymmetric sweater from YUNIT

Made from 100% organic cotton. 300 grams were used for it. The sweater was designed in Amsterdam and produce in Turkey under fair conditions.
Price: €79,95

4. Orange jumper from People Tree

Dressed up or dressed down, this jumper is a must-have. Fairly made in India from 100% organic cotton.
Price: €115,-

5. Navy crochet jumper from People Tree

Perfect for the upcoming holiday season. Made from 100% organic cotton and fairly hand knitted in Nepal. 
Price: €129,- now €50,85

6. Blue sweater from Noumenon

For the ones who want to make a difference. Made from soft and organic cotton. 
Price: €155,-

7. Pink sweater from Jan ‘n June

For the pink lovers. Fairly made in Poland from 100% organic cotton.
Price: €80,-

8. Creme bell sleeve sweater from Alchemist

Made under good working conditions (FairWear label) from 40% Alpaca 10% Wool and 50% Nylon. The wool and Alpaca are organic and animal-friendly.
Price: €139,95

9. Black sweater from Armedangels

Made from 100% organic cotton.
Price: €59,90

I hope you get inspired and next time you are looking for sweaters, give it a try and look for organic cotton as the main fabric. If you are out of a budget, before buying something new, try going first to a second-hand shop. There are a lot of “old” clothes ready to have a new life.

With Love,

Alisson
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LET´S MAKE THIS AN ETHICAL SUMMER

Summer is just around the corner. Today I´m giving you some tips on ethical summer clothes. If you are not looking for clothes right now, you can remember these brands below and check them out when you want to refresh your closet.

Ethical fashion represents an approach to the design, sourcing, and manufacture of clothing which maximizes benefits to people and communities while minimizing the impact on the environment. These are some features that are usually pointed out as ethical: Fairtrade, employing women or certain ethnic groups, products made without animal ingredients and cruelty-free, donating part of the profits to a charity, handmade, fair wages paid and been transparent about the production and work policies.
I have listed 6 summer essentials that you can get from ethical brands.

1. Sunglasses from Dick Moby

 

Dick Moby is a Dutch company that makes sustainable eyewear from plastic. They use and reuse plastic without creating more waste in the process. They are handmade in Italy. Every pair of sunglasses comes with a free recycled leather hard case.
You can check their online shop HERE

2. Bikini from Pura Clothing

Pura Clothing
I´m wearing the Luna top and the Amante bottom.

Sara is the girl behind PURA: a Swiss brand of swimwear. Pura means pure, which refers to pure fabrics and a pure conscience. All the bikinis are handmade in Switzerland, using Fabrics exclusively from Europe.
Check the new collection HERE

3. Organic cotton tops by People´s tree

 

The production of the clothes of People´s Tree is sustainable and environmentally friendly. They use organic cotton which guarantees small-scale farmers in developing countries to receive a fair and stable price and an additional premium which gives them the opportunity to develop their communities.
Check the collection HERE

4. Jeans from Mud for €7,50 (per month)

Picture from http://www.mudjeans.eu/product-category/women/women-lease/women-lease-a-jeans/
Picture from http://www.mudjeans.eu

Mud Jeans is a Dutch denim company that introduced ‘Lease A Jeans’. For 7,50€ per month you can lease one jeans, wear them and after a year, or, when the jeans are completely worn out, you can send them back and switch to a new pair. Worn out jeans are shredded, cut into pieces and blended with virgin cotton. This is how a new denim yarn is born. Returned jeans that are still good are upcycled and sold as unique vintage pairs. The jeans are named after the former user.
Learn more about this project HERE

5. Backpack from Fjällräven

 

Fjällräven makes functional, timeless and sustainable equipment & clothes for outdoor use. All with the idea of having a less negative impact on the environment. Their production is fair trade and they support different charities.
Check the collection HERE

I hope this inspires you to add sustainable brands to your summer wishlist. Ethical brands may be more expensive than non-ones, but in my experience, the quality is better. It is a little investment and you will have the piece for a longer time. But if you are low on budget this season, give it a try to second-hand shops. You might find amazing pieces for little money. In The Netherlands, there are some nice second-hand shops and charity shops that you can visit. If you prefer online, check then United Wardrobe, The Next Closet, and Marktplaats.

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

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