Fashion Week | Sustainable & Ethical Trade Shows

Last week I went to Berlin Fashion Week to check out the Ethical Fashion Show and Green Showroom, as well as sustainable brands at the Premium and Seek fairs. I also went to Frankfurt for Innatex, another sustainable trade fair. These shows were for brands to sell their A/W 18/19 collections to stores and also included lectures and press/blogger events.

It was wonderful to see so many conscious brands, EFSB/Green Showroom had 170 labels, Premium and Seek both had green sections and Innatex had about 300 brands!

Checking out brands at the Ethical Fashion Show and Green Showroom

My goal for the week was to find some new brands and especially some that have a strong design focus. It’s no problem finding sustainable basics and I’ve shared a lot of staple brands, but it’s harder to find more fashion-forward styles. I was excited to find some brands with beautiful designs but a lot of them didn’t allow filming or photos. So here’s some of the new brands I found that I didn’t or couldn’t share in the video but will be keeping an eye on:

 

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to film the fashion show, but here’s the official video from Ethical Fashion Show Berlin:

 

Biggest takeaways that I learned/noticed at the trade shows
  • Some common trends for fall/winter are:
    • 70’s styles and prints
    • red is going strong, lots of bright and darker/faded shades
    • monochromatic looks were popular
    • corduroy has made a comeback
    • still a lot of minimalist knits
  • While brands might try some more creative designs, the basics and classics are what sell.
  • Price point is a huge struggle for brands – trying to keep prices down without compromising ethics and sustainability, and also explaining to consumers why the products cost more.
  • Organic cotton is by far the most used material (which isn’t the most sustainable).
    • Although there is material innovation happening and it’s exciting to see more recycled/upcycled materials and brands!
  • A truly vegan brand has to also have a sustainable focus, so many vegan products and materials are still harmful to animals and very damaging to the planet.
  • More conscious brands have “design first” marketing which is wonderful to see, because it doesn’t matter how eco/ethical you are if people don’t like the styles.
    • On the other hand though, a lot also need to step-up their branding, images, and information, they have great products and stories but aren’t showcasing and communicating it well online.
  • There is a lot of potential with wool, especially alpaca, which not only is an amazing fibre for clothing but can be farmed sustainably and (I believe) ethically as well.
  • Finally, this industry is built on passion, there are so many small labels who want to make a difference, tons of bloggers who use their moments of spare time to try and spread the message, and people who are trying to make changes for a better future. Even though there are always going to be things that can improve I came away feeling incredibly inspired, hopeful, and so grateful to be part of such an amazing community.

 

and speaking of bloggers…

Some of the lovely women I met creating conscious content:
English

Cherie – Sustainable Fashion Matterz

Kim – Kim Goes Eko

Lisa – At Least 

Mia – heylilahey

German

Corinna – Kissen & Karma
Franziska – Un Petit Sourire Slows Down
Jana – Not Another Woman & Gern Geschehen (podcast)
Laura – The OGNC
Lena – Healthy Lena
Marisa – My Fair Ladies
Mary and Rosi – Green Looks Great
Nicola – Fairnica
Nina – Pink & Green
Phoebe – Phoenomenal
Sarah – undeinepriseliebe
Talisa – Talisa Minoush (youtube)

 

One of the highlights was the Fashion Changers pre-peek event where you could try on clothes from the brands, and they had stylists, makeup artists, and photographers. I should have stayed longer to do some more photos, but here’s an outfit with a jumper from Lanius and pants by Maria Seifert.

Fashion Changers Pre-Peek
photo: Emilie Elizabeth

 

Overall it was a great experience and I’m so glad I went. I have a pile of business cards to go through so I can keep track of the brands I liked and need to research/hopefully will share more from. I also feel so inspired and excited about this conscious fashion movement, the change is slow, but it’s happening and will keep growing!

 

Fashion brands in the video (in order of appearance):

(note that the pieces shown in the video are for FW 18/19 though so likely aren’t currently available)

 

Check out the interviews from last year’s event.

 

* indicates an affiliate link, for more information please see disclosure policy

10 Ways to Change your Shopping Habits

Changing your shopping habits can be really difficult. We often shop for fun, as a reward, to de-stress, or to spend time with friends or family but bad shopping habits typically result in impulse purchases, unworn clothes, a cluttered closet, and spending time and money on things you don’t love.

Here’s 10 tips to stop shopping or change the way you shop:
  1. Remember why you want to change your shopping habits
  2. Replace shopping with other activities (here’s some ideas)
  3. Separate needs vs wants
  4. Take time to think about an item before buying it
  5. Try a shopping challenge – no shopping, secondhand only, no fast fashion, etc. for 3 months, 6 months, or even a year!
  6. Use the “one in one out” rule to shop less
  7. Unsubscribe from newsletters and unfollow brands who share lots of sales and promotions
  8. Have a strict budget
  9. Use a shopping list and stick to it
  10. Take the money you would have spent and put it in savings for your dream vacation, an investment garment, or anything you really want to save for

 

Any other tips?

 

Easy Colourful Eyeshadow

found in makeup | 1

I try to keep my makeup collection minimal but versatile. My makeup look is generally simple but I also like to be able to do more creative looks occasionally without buying new products.

Colorful eyeshadow

 

The colours in my versatile eyeshadow palette are:

  • brown (also used for brows and contour)
  • black or grey (which can also be used wet as an eyeliner)
  • white (also used as a highlight)
  • red or pink (which I mainly used as blush)
  • and then a “fun” colour – I currently have this copper shimmer shade

This eyeshadow look only used 3 shadows (plus the brown for brows). I started with black in the outer corner and into the crease in a triangle shape, it’s a blueish-black so looks purpley when layered with the red. The red shadow is then put into the center of the triangle, on the outer-half of the eyelid, and blended with the black. Next I put the copper shadow on the inner-half of the eyelid and a little into the crease. On the lower lid I used the red again on the outer corner and copper in the middle.

Easy colourful eyeshadow

What do you think of this makeup look?

 

My eyeshadows are from Red Apple Lipstick* (black – black magic and I also have brownie points for shadow/brows, and buttercream for shadow/highlight), PuroBio* (red – Marsala), and Couleur Caramel (copper – I believe this shade is no longer available though).

 

 

*indicates an affiliate link, for more information please see the disclosure policy for more info.

Winter Capsule Wardrobe

please note: this post contains some affiliate links

 

The pieces I chose for my winter capsule wardrobe:

  1. Velvet bodysuit from Underprotection (read a brand review)
  2. Navy tee from Lanius
  3. Blue spot tee from Dedicated*
  4. Black tee from Funktion Schnitt 
  5. Black sweatshirt from Dedicated*
  6. Grey jumper from People Tree
  7. Grey top from Comazo | earth
  8. Long shirt from ArmedAngels
  9. Plaid draped shirt – secondhand
  10. Beige cardigan – old
  11. Green cardigan – DIY/handmade
  12. Gold/green jacket – secondhand
  13. Grey/brown sweater from Izzy Lane
  14. Blue fisherman sweater – secondhand/vintage
  15. Sweater from People Tree
  16. Red jumper – old
  17. Black pants from People Tree
  18. Wool trousers – secondhand
  19. Light jeans from MUD Jeans*
  20. Linen skirt from NotPerfectLinen* (read more about my love of linen)
  21. Black dress from People Tree
  22. Check tunic from People Tree
  23. Tee dress from Kowtow
  24. Ikat jumpsuit from Matter Prints* (more about ikat and the jumpsuit)
  25. Brown jacket – DIY/handmade
  26. Denim jacket – secondhand
  27. Woven cape – secondhand/vintage
  28. Knit vest – DIY/handmade
  29. Purple/teal scarf – DIY/handmade
  30. Knit brown/red scarf – DIY/handmade
  31. Cream knit hat – DIY/handmade
  32. Black floppy hat – secondhand
  33. Backpack from Matt & Nat (please read why I no longer support Matt & Nat)
  34. Black purse from Matt & Nat (please read why I no longer support Matt & Nat)

 

My capsule wardrobe is adapted from the Project 333 challenge. Over the course of creating my many capsule wardrobes I’ve been fine-tuning them to figure out what works best for me. In the spring I decided to no longer include shoes as part of my capsule wardrobe, because I feel I have a good core “shoe capsule” and the one thing I often seemed to miss was some pair of shoes that I hadn’t included.

I also find that I need more pieces in the fall and winter and fewer in the spring and summer, so I don’t try to hit a specific number, I just build a wardrobe I think would work well, and it usually ends up being 30-35 pieces.

 

 

* this item was sent as a gift from the brand

Green Favourites 2017

Every month I make a video highlighting 5 things– a green product, a slow fashion brand,  a book or doc, something new I’ve learned, and a blogger or youtuber I follow. Here are the things featured in 2017.

 

Green Products

Soap/wash nuts for laundry
DIY cotton makeup pads
Coconut oil
Stainless steel straws
Menstrual cup
DoneGood (free app/extension)
BunchaFarmers natural stain remover
Bamboo toothbrush
Toothpaste tablets
Vinegar for cleaning
Guppyfriend Bag

 

Slow Fashion

Sleeping Gypsy
Love Justly *
Offset Warehouse (fabric & sewing supplies)
Zero Waste Daniel
Deadwood
Neo Thread Co.
Christy Dawn
Jungle Folk
Folk Fibers (naturally dyed quilts)
Myssyfarmi
Hoodlamb

 

Books

Slow Fashion by Safia Minney
Women in Clothes
Soulful Simplicity by Courtney Carver

 

Docs/Movies

Plastic China
Chasing Ice
Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt
Okja (fiction, on Netflix)
A wage you can live on – Textile Workers in Cambodia

 

Podcasts

Sustainababble 
Wardrobe Crisis

 

Blogs

The Note Passer
Moral Fibres
Life + Style + Justice
Ethical Unicorn
Dominique Drakeford & MelaninASS

 

Youtube Channels

The Girl Gone Green
Sweet Potato Soul
Kristen Leo
Exploring Alternatives
Use Less

 

*indicates an affiliate link, by purchasing through this link you are helping support My Green Closet! For more information on my use of affiliate links please see the disclosure policy.

30 Sustainable Resolutions for 2018

Go green in 2018! Living sustainably is all about making small changes and continuing to learn and improve. Incorporate some sustainable goals into your new year’s resolutions for a more conscious 2018.

 

Eco friendly resolution ideas:

1. Air dry your clothes to help them last longer and save energy and money

2. Watch/read an environmental documentary or book every month (check out resources for some recommendations)

3. Avoid palm oil (more about palm oil and deforestation)

4. Never throw away clothes (what to do with your old clothes)

5. Start a capsule wardrobe (how I plan my capsule wardrobe)

6. Switch to reusable menstrual products (more about switching to a menstrual cup)

7. Try to first repair items before throwing them away

8. Drive less- instead walk, bike, take public transit, car pool, etc.

9. Wash your clothes in cold water (more clothing care tips)

10. Use natural and non-toxic cleaning products in your home (my simple, DIY cleaning products)

Simple, green cleaning products - vinegar, baking soda, and Dr. Bronner's liquid soap

11. Host a clothing swap so your friends, family, or community can shop each other’s closets

12. Try a shopping fast/challenge

13. Switch to a green energy supplier for your home

14. Buy only cruelty-free beauty products

15. Contact your favourite brands and ask questions

16. Buy products in bulk

17. Reduce meat and animal products from your diet, even just eating a more Mediterranean diet makes a big difference

18. Find green beauty alternatives (more about the products I use)

19. Incorporate seasonal foods into your meals

20. Buy organic

21. Always bring a reusable mug/bottle

22. Contact your government reps about important issues

23. Plan your shopping and reduce food waste

blueberries

24. Set up a monthly donation to your favourite organization

25. Buy from local businesses first

26. Carbon offset all your travel (how to carbon offset)

27. Volunteer for an organization/important cause

28. Avoid synthetics or get a Guppyfriend bag to help reduce microfibre pollution

guppyfriend laundry bag - reduce microfibre pollution

29. Take part in a sustainable community – like the My Green Closet Facebook group 😉

30. Share your favourite conscious fashion finds on social media

 

 

What are your sustainable resolutions for the new year?

 

Best & Worst Green Beauty Products of the Year

This year I used some great makeup and beauty products and unfortunately also some really disappointing ones. I made this video to recap of my favourite and least favourite products.

 

Brands and products mentioned:

(please note this list contains some affiliate links)
  Lily Lolo mascara

  Dr. Hauschka defining mascara

  100% Pure long lasting concealer

  Dr. Hauschka concealer

  RMS “un” coverup

  Lily Lolo mineral foundation

  Martina Gebhardt Sage Cleanser 

  100% Pure purity cleanser + mask

  100% Pure eye shadow brushes

  Magic Organic Apothecary Aphrodite oil (read more about choosing a facial oil)

  Lamazuna toothpaste

  Schmidt’s deodorant

  shampoo bars

  The Innate Life shampoo and conditioner (you can use code MYGREENCLOSET for 15% off The Innate Life products!)

best and worst green beauty products

 

What was your favourite natural/non-toxic beauty product you used this year?

 

 

Plant Based Recipes for the Holidays

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Reducing meat and animal products is a great way to be more sustainable during the holidays. These are 7 plant based food ideas which are both delicious and festive:

 

Mulled Wine

A steaming glass of spicy mulled wine is perfect on a cold day. I’ve tried quite a few different ways of making it and Jamie Oliver’s method is definitely the best- creating a syrup first makes it so much more flavorful. Although his recipe is quite sweet, so I’d recommend adding less sugar if you don’t like a very sweet mulled wine.

 

Ginger Molasses Cookies

My favourite treat for the holidays are chewy ginger cookies. I unfortunately don’t have a recipe to share since I don’t usually measure things, but if you search “ginger molasses cookies” there are lots of different recipes. An easy sub for cookies is to replace 1 egg with a flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 2.5 tbsp water).

 

Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

This is great salad for any fall/winter dinners. The colours are lovely together and I really like the combination of flavours and textures. You can find the recipe here (although I usually like to add more seeds and cranberries, and use less oil).

 

Crispy Garlic Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are another great holiday food. I usually just make them roasted with some lemon, but this year we tried out Minimalist Baker’s recipe. They’re delicious but VERY garlic-y so adjust if you’re not huge garlic fans. I also really enjoyed them with the Sriracha aioli dipping sauce, it would make a great appetizer.

 

“Cheesy” Chive Biscuits

Biscuits are also nice to have especially if you have gravy with your meal. Hot for Food has a nice savory biscuit recipe that I tried out and they turned out really good, although I’d recommend using a metal circular cutter if you have one (instead of cutting like I did) to get the nice fluffy edges.

 

Beet Chips

The colour of these baked rosemary beet chips is perfect for the holidays. They’re a great snack, but making them can be a little tricky- it’s very important to cut them evenly and keep an eye on them while baking because they can burn easily.

 

Pastry-Wrapped Lentil Loaf

For the main dish I really recommend this lentil loaf from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken. I’ve made this for a few different dinners and it not only looks really impressive but it’s hearty, nutty and a great sub for a meat main. I think it’s best served with an onion or mushroom gravy.

 

 

Happy Holidays! xx

Easy DIY Holiday Decorations

 

Easy, Eco Holiday Decorations

found in holidays | 0

This holiday season keep it green by using natural and re-purposed materials in your decorations. Here’s 5 easy DIY projects that are festive, minimalist, and sustainable.

DIY decorated pom-pom branches

Wintery Branches

You will need:

  • branches
  • jar
  • salt
  • string/yarn
  • a fork
  • scissors

Find some nice looking branches and put them in a jar with salt to hold them and make sure they’re stable.

To make the pom-poms wind the yarn around the fork and then tie together in the middle. Cut the loops on either side and fluff up and pom-pom (here’s some step by step photos). Add a string to hang.

You can also add any other lightweight decorations to the branches. Paper decorations work really well!

 

dried orange slices hanging on branches

Dried Orange Slices

These are lovely to hang in a tree, make a garland, or hang in windows and have the light shine through. You will need:

  • a few oranges (depending how many slices you want to make)
  • kitchen towel
  • oven

Slice the oranges trying to keep them even. Lay the slices out and use a towel to soak up excess moisture. Put them either on an over rack or a baking pan with baking paper. Bake at 100°C, they can take a while to dry out so to save some energy I like to keep them in the oven for around 45 mins (turning the oven off after 30 mins but leaving them in) and then put them on the top of our heater for the rest of the day to totally dry out.

Once the slices are dried you can use as is or take a needle and thread and string them together in a garland or create loops for hanging.

 

Origami star

Origami Stars

These are a nice DIY that you can use scrap paper for. You just need paper and instead of trying to explain the steps probably not very well, here’s a good tutorial on how to fold them.

 

Minimalist Triangle Tree

I love the minimalist/Scandinavian style of this simple tree. It’s perfect for small apartments!

You will need:

  • 6 sticks/dowels (3 shorter and 3 longer depending on how high you want your tree to be)
  • string
  • paper/decorations

Take the 3 shorter sticks and make a trangle with the ends overlapping. Tie each corner together and wind the string around a few times. Take the 3 longer sticks and tie together a few cm from the top making a triangle. Put the open ends into each corner of the bottom triangle and tie together.

You can then either create your own ornaments and hang them from the top, or use a few ornaments you already have. Top the tree off with a star. ⭐

Candle Jars

This is probably the easiest project and they look really lovely. You will need:

  • jars
  • salt
  • tealights and/or floating candles
  • string
  • cinnamon sticks/pine branch
  • oranges/cranberries/rosemary

For the regular candle jars, add a couple cm salt to the bottom of a jar and put a tealight in the middle. Take a few cinnamon stick or a little piece of a pine branch and tie to the outside of the jar.

For the floating candles, add cranberries, orange slices, or rosemary springs to a jar with water and put a floating candle on top. Cranberries work best, other things like orange slices will discolour the water over time, these also wont keep a long time so they’re best as a “day of” decoration.

 

What are your favourite green holiday decorations?

Also check out my plant based holiday recipe ideas!

I added up how much I spent on Ethical Fashion this year

I added up how much I spent on Ethical Fashion this year

The number one response I get when talking about ethical/sustainable fashion is that it’s too expensive. I get it, the price tags are a lot higher when you compare them to fast fashion, but a big part of shopping consciously is also buying less. For the last few years it didn’t seem like I was actually spending a lot more overall buying ethical and sustainable brands because I was also buying fewer items, however I wanted to see for sure. This year I calculated all the money I spent on clothes and shoes, including the retail value of any items that were gifted to me and I was a bit surprised with the results.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the average American spent $1,803 on apparel and related services in 2016. Meanwhile a British survey of 2500 people found they each spent an average of £1042 (about $1400 USD) on clothing- although I’m not sure if this did or didn’t include footwear.

This year was definitely a more expensive year for me since in addition to buying a few items for my capsule wardrobe and replacing some pieces, I had to buy a new pair of running shoes, got a nice pair of heels, had to replace my swimsuit, and also invested in a sweater from Izzy Lane for my upcoming winter capsule (even though I’m not wearing it this year I still included it in my calculations). My total expenses for clothing and footwear in 2017 came to the equivalent of $1544 USD. Over $200 less than the average American, but about $145 more than the average Brit (although if the survey actually didn’t included shoes I would definitely be under).

The garments I purchased were from ethical and sustainable brands and yet my spending is close to the averages. People assume I spend more money on clothes because the items have higher price tags, and I even thought my expenses would come out to be above average this year with the 2 pricier shoes (they are about 30% of the total). Next year I’m pretty sure I’ll be under both averages.

I’m excited to have this little bit of data to back up what I suspected – that “buy less, buy better” doesn’t mean you have to spend more. Plus if you’re budget conscious and $1500 USD is too much for a year, there are so many ways to shop consciously and affordably! I have a video all about it. 🙂

Also I have to mention how much I love having a capsule wardrobe. It’s the reason I’ve been able to be more thoughtful and selective with the items I choose to invest in. I don’t mind spending more on a piece not only because it’s ethically made and environmentally friendly but because I know it’s something that’s going to work with my wardrobe and get a lot of wear.

 

 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this! Do you feel you spend more shopping ethically? Has a capsule wardrobe helped you save money?

 

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