Who made my clothes? Two years of fair fashion

Who made my clothes? My journey with fair fashion

It’s Fashion Revolution Week! I wanted to take the chance and tell you guys a bit more about my journey with fair fashion. As you might remember, I started buying only fair clothing about 2.5 years ago, at the beginning of 2015. It’s been quite a learning curve so far and I found so many cool labels, ideas and initiatives along the way, so here goes!

Fair Fashion: My lessons so far

+ Allow yourself to take the journey step by step. When I started shopping completely fair – not just a piece here and there – it was overwhelming. I didn’t know what to look out for or where to find fair labels I liked. So I just started slowly by reading blogs dedicated to fair fashion and learning more about sustainable production, worker rights etc. One book that really helped me was “To Die For” by Lucy Siegle. It’s a must read for everyone interested in fair fashion! I can also really recommend the documentary “The True Cost” if you haven’t seen it yet.

+ There’s a lot more out there than you’d think. At the beginning, I thought the only fair labels out there were Hess Natur, People Tree and Armed Angels. How wrong I was! Just yesterday I chatted with a friend and she introduced me to two cool new labels I had never heard about. If you’re on the hunt for new pieces, I’d recommend checking out fair clothing boutiques and following the rabbit trail of new stock and young labels. In Germany there’s glore for example, in the UK Gather and See sells some amazing pieces.

+ You won’t spend more money. Of course, if you look at the prices of fair fashion, it’s more expensive than the high street (for a very good reason!). What this means though, is that you naturally won’t make as many impulse buys anymore. Yes, one shirt might cost a bit more, but you won’t have 10 low quality shirts that you bought on a whim and don’t even like anymore.

Fun & friendly

+ Second hand shopping can be fun too! I used to shy away from buying clothing second hand (too much of a hassle), but today I love it! Just take your time and remember that you can take pieces that don’t fit properly to the tailor! Second hand shopping also helps me when I miss my former favourite brands like Topshop, COS or even Zara – I’ll just search for their collections in my favourite second hand online shops!

+ The fair fashion community is incredibly friendly. If you’re just starting out, dare and reach out to people who are further along on the journey than you. I haven’t met anyone who wasn’t eager to help yet!

All in all, I haven’t regretted going fair fashion for one minute. If you want to give it a try, just go ahead. Please ask any questions you might have in the comments and I’ll try to help and answer them. Happy Fashion Revolution Friday!

PS: If you don’t know what Fashion Revolution Week means: In the week around the 24 April, people all over the world think of the Rana Plaza incident in Bangladesh. Over 1.000 people died working at a clothing factory with horrific working conditions. Since then, every year we’ve been asking brands: Who made my clothes? It’s a really great initiative, you should definitely check it out!

 

5 ways to start small today (and chill)

5 ways to start small today
Making the switch to a sustainable lifestyle is hard. There are so many options, so many opinions and – it’s more expensive. I get that. It’s still totally worth it though. So today, I’m sharing five small ways with you that will hopefully help you chill and live a bit more sustainably (without having to struggle):

Make a change and chill

Allow yourself to experiment | It takes time to make the switch. It is hard. For me, for example, switching to natural cosmetics is a process of several years (the chemicals do have a purpose after all). I struggle with a lot of allergies, especially while using natural cosmetics. So I’m trying and trying to find products my skin and hair tolerate (and sometimes switch back to drugstore products as well). I don’t give up though because I care about supporting products that don’t put a toll on the environment!

Don’t try to start fresh | Just because you are committed to live a sustainable lifestyle, that doesn’t mean you can’t use your old stuff anymore. It is tempting to just purge and start with a clean slate, but this just puts a lot of pressure on your wallet and doesn’t really serve anybody.

Find out what you care about most | No sweatshops? Organic? Vegan? Locally produced? There is a lot to consider when it comes to conscious consumerism. I know a lot of people (and me too) who just give up because you can never do it ‘perfectly’. So forget perfect for a moment, choose the cause you care most about (for me, it’s the sweatshops) and stay committed to that one. Everything else is just an added bonus.

Buy organic what you eat most often | I read this tip on Me & Orla the other day and it makes so much sense: If you can’t buy all your groceries at the organic store, commit to buying what you consume most and go to a normal grocery store for the rest. For me, that’s milk, bread and coffee. You can always start buying more organic items, but it’s all about starting small.

Keep a flexible mind | Always stay open to learning more about how to do good in the way you consume. It is a very complex topic and there’s so many different influences to consider, so it’s very important to stay open to new ways of doing business.

Just do it! An interview with LJ Originals

Interview with LJ Originals | Hanna's Places

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Lisa, the creator behind jewellery brand LJ Originals. She is a great friend of mine, really creative and her jewellery (and the idea behind it) is just stunning. She took the leap and followed her dream and founded her own brand last year. Now she’s telling us more about it and her beautiful vision about it:

What was your vision behind founding LJ Originals?

My vision behind founding LJ was to create a brand that utilised my skills as a jeweller as a platform I could use to share a culture of value and worth. I heard once that a girl is told 268 times before she is 12 that she is not good enough and, while the accuracy of that statistic could be debated, it sparked something in me to do whatever I could to make the statistic as small as possible. Every person is valuable and I may not be the biggest voice but I have a responsibility to at least be a voice against the other noise that women hear berating them every day.

What dreams do you have for the future you’re excited to work on?

Wow that’s a big question. I have massive dreams to play a more proactive part in reaching girls or women who really have had their confidence and value stripped away through traumatic events and help them rebuild it and realise that regardless of what those things tell them they are, they are so valuable and have so much worth.

An interview with LJ Originals | Hanna's Places Interview with LJ Originals | Hanna's Places

Is there one social/environmental issue you’re passionate about?

I actually studied my masters in sustainability and environmental studies. While I am still working on a more environmentally friendly model for my business, I believe we have a responsibility to steward the natural resources we have well. My biggest social issue, as you can probably tell is to make sure that every girl or woman hears at least once that they are loved, precious, beautiful and valuable. Over the first few months of the year, I had the honour of partnering with Urban Justice in Glasgow to go into local high schools and teach young girls the Shine course which focuses on worth, value, strength and purpose. It was unbelievable rewarding to spend this time with the girls and to see the transformation in them by the end of the course.

Do you know one simple step we can take towards living more green?

It’s actually really simple. I think our throw away culture can sometimes cause us to feel some kind of endorphin rush from buying something new and disposable instead of reusing our resources from even the little things such as buying our lunch everyday. My collection is based on a variation of the traditional granulation technique where I use lots of small granules joined together to build a much bigger surface and I think this is actually really reflective of our efforts to become sustainable or more effectively protect our environment. Yes bigger companies and governments have a massive part to play and a great responsibility to minimise their impact but the buck doesn’t solely lie with them, it’s our responsibility to recycle, be less wasteful with energy and materials. I mean even only putting the amount of water you need in the kettle for your tea makes a difference.

Advice for people who want to start following their dreams?

Just do it. One thought that stuck with me when I was deciding to launch LJ was that there were people on the other side of that I was doing. Even if it was only one of my social media followers or just that one buyer who needed to hear that they were loved and valuable, who was I to withhold that from them or not do anything in my power so that they heard that. You being small doesn’t serve the world. Yes, be sensible, be wise and do what you need to do to survive but if there’s a need that you see, chances are you are the solution.

Thank you so much Lisa! If you want to get some beautiful LJ Originals for yourself (or a friend) you can check out her shop over here. Or follow on Facebook or Instagram!

How to get a plastic-free kitchen

How 30-day lists changed my shopping habits

30-day lists changed my shopping habits

As you may know, I changed my shopping habits quite a lot over the past few years. I stopped buying fast fashion  and I tried going second-hand shopping more often. At the same time I didn’t only start buying better, I also tried buying less. One of the shopping habits that really helped me with that was 30-day lists. Let me introduce you to the concept today!

What are 30-day lists?

As it often happens, I read about 30-day lists somewhere on the internet*.  The concept is incredibly easy: If you feel the urge to buy something, write it down with a date and wait for 30 days. If you still want it after that time period, feel free to buy it. If you realise you don’t actually love it that much, just scratch it out. Congrats, you’ve just saved some money and not made an unnecessary purchase. I have a small notebook for my 30-day lists and regularly go through my list. How I changed my shopping habits

How I changed my shopping habits

I started changing my shopping habits with 30-day lists at the beginning of the year. I write down everything, from obvious choices like shoes and clothes, to decoration to books to items I just neeeeed to have at the moment. As a result, my life is so much easier (and less expensive) and I’m glad my cupboards don’t fill up with that much clutter anymore. Of course, it gets tricky when I’m on holiday, but I try not to be to rigorous if it’s a one of a kind memory/souvenir. As I’m trying to save money at the moment it’s really the perfect system!

Have you tried 30-day lists? Are you interested in trying?

*If anyone knows who came up with this first, please let me know!

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