Have you ever found yourself missing a sock after putting a pair in the laundry? This is very common. Researchers determined that the average person loses 1.3 socks each month and more than 15 per year. And with the average person living to 81 years of age, that adds up to a whopping 1,264 socks lost during a lifetime. That is kind of a lot right?
Luckily there is a brand that has come to a solution to lonely socks. The Dutch brand QNOOP makes socks with a button on the one and a loop on the other. This way you can tie your socks together before washing them. Smart because you never lose one anymore doing your laundry. And it saves you tons of time matching your socks. On top of it its’ sustainable because people lose a lot of socks and then they throw away the lonely sock because there is no pair anymore.
The socks from QNOOP are ethically made in Portugal from organic cotton (GOTS certified). This uses 50% less water than when growing genetically modified cotton and there are no toxic chemicals used in the process.
The labels are made of recycled cardboard. And the button is bio-degradable. To make sure the socks are long-lasting, they are first steam and then press the socks in the factory in Portugal. This process prevents shrinkage and makes the socks ultra-soft.
From the collection of QNOOP I got the ‘Lurex Tube Navy‘ socks. Here are some pictures:
The skin is the largest organ in our body. It absorbs most of what it comes in contact with. The majority of store-bought beauty products have artificial colors, fragrances, preservatives and stabilizers that get absorbed through the skin’s pores right into the bloodstream. These products can cause a range of negative long-term health effects. Skin sensitivity, allergic reactions, hormonal imbalances… the list of side effects and reactions to these chemical ingredients is long and scary. Not to mention the negative impact the production and the waste of these products have on the environment.
Today I am sharing with you 8 reasons why to start switching to green skin care:
Natural and organic skin care products are made from clean and pure ingredients. The ingredients come mostly from flowers, plants, fruits, and seeds extracts.
Natural and organic skin care products are free from SLS, parabens, petroleum-derived products, and other synthetic ingredients.
By using natural cosmetics, you reduce the chances of having skin irritations. Products with chemicals and other synthetic ingredients in them such as Benzoyl Peroxide often leave skin feeling dry, red and sore.
Before the ‘safe’ chemicals were discovered people were putting natural ingredients in their skin. Many ingredients that are included in modern organic skincare products have been used for centuries, developed from ancient remedies that have been known for their incredible benefits for the skin.
Most of the natural and organic skin care products are cruelty-free. This means that the products are not tested on animals. Not all cosmetics are vegan. Some brands use bee wax and honey. Check the labels on the packaging for more information.
Kinder To The Environment
Skincare products that contain chemicals can have a very damaging impact on the environment. The manufacturing of chemicals for skin care products puts those chemicals, and many more, into the air and water.
Cheaper On The Long Term
Organic and natural skincare products are very cost effective when compared to their non-natural alternatives. Especially as the high quality of the ingredients means you can use less. And in the end, the product will last longer.
Regular skin care products may be cheaper, but you end up needing to use a lot of them. Putting layer after layer of moisturizer on as your skin still feels dry. Therefore having to buy more of it, and actually costing you more in the long run.
No Plastic Soup
Natural cosmetics don’t have microplastics.
Since I started reading about the side effects of the chemical ingredients on regular beauty products I rather not risk a chance for a health problem and I only use organic and natural beauty products. I buy them at nature shops like Holland & Barret or Ekoplaza.
Check my natural and organic skin care favorite products here. Do you use only natural and organic products as well? Let me know on the comments below.
On my search for eco-friendly basic clothing, I found the Danish brand Organic Basics. The brand is based in Copenhagen and it has been active since 2015. Sustainability and ethical practices are at the core of the brand.
All of the clothes from Organic Basics are made from sustainable fabrics. The most commonly used fabric is organic cotton. The cotton is grown in Turkey without the use of pesticides, no toxic substances, no chemical fertilizer, and no bad chemicals. It is grown without genetically modified seeds, and it is GOTS certified (which means that apart from being certified organic, it is grown by humans that are treated like humans).
Besides organic cotton, they also use an innovative fabric called SilverTech. The fiber has real silver in it. Silver has historically been used as an antimicrobial. And it is also thermodynamic, which means that the fabric keeps you cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. The purpose of using silver is to prevent the need for frequent washing. Wearing more and washing less is better for clothes and for the environment.
Another fabric that Organic Basics use is recycled nylon. Mechanically recycled nylon is a fiber developed from post-industrial waste, yarns from spinning factories, and waste from weaving mills. Recycled nylon uses 80% less and creates 90% fewer CO2 emissions compared to regular nylon.
Ethical labors are very important for Organic Basics. They only work with factories that have fair wages and treat employees with respect. The factories are located in Turkey. One in Izmir and the other one in Istanbul. In order to monitor the working conditions in Turkey, a small team from Organic Basics visit the cotton farms, and factories once every three months. While there, they also interact with the workers and spend time together.
Last week I place an order and it came by bike to my address.
The collection of Organic Basics is timeless, basic and minimalistic. Check it out and use my code: ALISSONOBC2 to get €15 Discount at www.organicbasics.com
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
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
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
Picture from Shop Saar’s website
Picture from Shop Saar’s website
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
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
Picture from Nou-menon’s website
Picture from Nou-menon’s website
Basic T-shirt made of 100% organic cotton.
Price €55,- Shop here
6. Bonita T-shirt from Thinking MU
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
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
Picture from Ipsilon Paris’s website
Picture from Ipsilon Paris’s website
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
Picture from Armedangels’s website
Picture from Armedangels’s website
T-shirt made of 100% organic cotton. Available in white or grey.
Price €39,90 Shop here
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.
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:
Sets of 100% organic cotton. GOTS certified. Comfortable for babies and practical for parents.
Bamboo Baby bedding and fashion. Dutch design. 100% produced in Italy.
Organic apparel for kids. Run by a Dutch momboss from Rotterdam.
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.
Bio and fair trade certified brand for babies, kids, and home. Made in Germany.
Since I started to invest more in eco-products, I have been collecting different brands and trying them out. Every month on this new blog series, I will show you my favorite products. It’s time to promote the best eco-friendly products which are encouraging us to think a little greener about our consumption and to protect the environment. Here are the products I tried in February:
Natural deodorant from Ben & Anna Ben & Anna’s natural deodorant sticks have a solid consistency. Their main ingredient is shea butter and baking soda. They only use organic and biologic ingredients. They are free of aluminum, PEG’s, parabens or phthalates, vegan and cruelty-free. On the picture above, you see the pink grapefruit version. It has a nice citric smell and it feels smooth on the skin without feeling greasy or sticky. To apply, you need to push up the bottom of the tube with the thumb and then rub a thin layer of the deodorant on your skin. The tube is made of 100% carton. Read more about Ben & Anna here: https://www.ben-anna.com
You can get this deodorant at Blur in Amersfoort or online.
Milk Bamboo Sleep & Nursing Bra Due to my pregnancy, I stopped using wire bra’s and started looking for soft wireless bra’s. That’s when I found the nursing bra from Cake Maternity. It is made from a soft, sustainable bamboo yarn and it has hidden pockets for breastfeeding mamas. The materials of this bra are qualified with the Oeko-Tex® Standard 100, which ensures this garment is free from harmful substances. Read more about Cake Maternity here: https://www.cakematernity.com
Weleda pomegranate regenerating body oil
Weleda is a Swiss company that makes organic skin care products. Their products are free of synthetic compounds or toxic chemicals. Instead, they use flowers, fruits, roots extracts, minerals and essential oils. This time I tried the pomegranate regenerating oil and use it on my body. Especially on my belly and on my thighs, where I have a lot of striae. The oil has a light smell and I think it’s perfect for an after shower treat. Pomegranate oil has antioxidant properties that improve the regeneration of the skin. Read more about Weleda here: http://www.weleda.nl
You can get this body oil at the ‘Natuur Winkel’, Holland & Barret, Ekoplaza or online.
Shea butter from Zoya Goes Pretty
Zoya Goes Pretty is a brand based in Bulgaria that makes organic skin care products. They use 100% raw, unrefined and organic butter. All of their blends are as simple as possible with cold-pressed shea butter and 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. I used the shea butter with argan oil on my face and body. Sometimes I use it to remove my make up. I like that it doesn’t have perfume. It feels very natural and soft on my skin. Read more about Zoya Goes Pretty here: https://zoyagoespretty.com/all-products/
You can get the products of Zoya Goes Pretty at Blur in Amersfoort or online.
Matt lipstick from Alverde You got me. Lipsticks are my guilty pleasure. I love to combine them as part of my outfits. From pink to red, to purple. I like to wear them in all the shades. For me, it’s important to only use lipsticks with natural and organic ingredients. That’s why I use the ones from Alverde, a natural cosmetics brand from Germany. You can find it at any DM pharmacy store. These creamy matt lipsticks I use, are made of sunflower, jojoba and mimosa floral wax. They are easy to apply and give the lips a chic matt appearance that lasts long. Read more about Alverde here: https://www.dm.de/dm-marken/alverde/ Unfortunately, I haven’t found where to buy these products in The Netherlands. I often go to Germany and never miss to visit DM shop. If you are interested in some products, I could bring some extra next time :).
I hope you enjoy my list and that you would like to try some of the products I mentioned. Check here to see my list from January. Please contact me if you have any questions.
Giving birth in The Netherlands is totally different than in Colombia, where I am from. Starting with the fact that the pregnancy gets followed by a midwife, instead of a doctor. Another new thing for me is ‘kraamzorg’. A kraamzorg carer is a person that helps the midwife during the labor. After the baby is born, she will keep on visiting your house for a week to look after you and your baby and to teach you and your partner how to care for your newborn. With kraamzorg also comes a ‘kraampakket’. I needed to make sure that I would receive a kraampakket before the day of birth. A kraampakket is a maternity package that contains all the necessary products that the midwife and assistant will use when they take care of the mother and baby during delivery, birth and the first week after that. It is very common here in The Netherlands to give birth at home, and therefore the insurance gives you all the products of the kraampakket. You will need this in case you give birth at home.
Depending on which insurance you have, you will get the maternity package for free. Lucky for me, I didn’t get it for free. I say lucky because when I checked what the package contains, most of the products from the insurance are not eco-friendly or organic. After doing some research, I decided to gather all the products myself so they would be a little bit more natural and organic. Next to the kraampakket I added some extra products for the baby that I will need. Those things are not necessarily for the giving birth process, but to use afterward. Here are the products I gathered:
This package contains:
Sanitary pads from the brand Yoni made of 100% organic cotton. It has no plastics or perfumes.
Cotton pads made of 100% organic cotton.
Large mats made of 100% ecological filling and they are biodegradable. These mats are to protect the matress before and after giving birth.
Belly button lace made of 100% cotton from the brand Nobamed. This lace is an alternative to the plastic navel clip.
Sterile wound compresses from the brand Nobamed.
Washable post-partum slips from the brand Carriwell. These are to ensure that all the bandage down there does not shift and can be hygienically worn.
Diaper cream, nurturing cream and milky bad oil from the brand Naif. Naïf skincare products are vegan, cruelty-free and made from natural oils.
Organic cold-pressed shea butter from the brand Zoya Goes Pretty. This product is to prevent cracked nipples.
Washing nuts and liquid from Seepje. This detergent is made from nuts that contain a natural form of soap called saponin. The natural soap gets released with the contact of water. Seepje is hypoallergenic and chemical free. The liquid version of Seepje is made from powdered nuts. The packaging is made from old milk bottles from England.
Organic healing wool from the brand Popolini. This wool is to repair damaged skin for the baby and the mother.
Organic and chemical-free diapers and wipes from LILLYDOO. These products are chemical-free. The wipes are compostable. (Note: I am planning to use disposable diapers during the first days or weeks. After that I will use washable cloth diapers.)
Organic and fairtrade baby castille soap and liquid soap from the brand Dr. Bronner via biggreensmile.com. These soaps are made from extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, hemp oil and pure essential oils. There are no perfumes or other additives so that’s good for sensitive skin.
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.
Bee’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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Did you like the products I chose for my girlfriends? What would you add?