Ethical and sustainable fashion brands are more expensive but building a conscious wardrobe doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money. Shopping secondhand is not only incredibly sustainable but can also be very affordable. Buying locally from thrift stores or online re-sale sites means you can still buy the brands you like without supporting their unethical practices.
Minimalism and having a capsule wardrobe has been life-changing for me, there not only are numerous benefits in how it’s helped me be happier with my wardrobe, get ready faster, and define my personal style, but it also has allowed me to buy less and spend more on the items. I buy a combination of conscious fashion brands and secondhand so I can buy a piece or two from a sustainable brand and anything else I need secondhand and stick within my budget.
I think the idea of being “perfect” with ethical and environmental movements can actually be damaging to getting others involved. Guilt and judgement often doesn’t motivate people, it makes them defensive and can actually strengthen their position.
There unfortunately can be a lot of toxicity in online communities and personal discussions, and I think it’s important to try and communicate in a positive and encouraging way.
When switching to more natural beauty products nail polish can very difficult. There isn’t “natural” polish but there are nail polishes without the most common toxic ingredients. Non-toxic nail polishes are typically labelled as 3-9 free indicating the ingredients they are free from.
A big part of having a more conscious wardrobe is loving the clothes you already have. With so many garments in the world (more than 80 billion new items of clothing bought each year) it’s incredibly wasteful and damaging to always be buying new clothes. The glamourization of shopping hauls and new purchases is everywhere but our favourite pieces are often so much more special than anything new. Loving and appreciating our clothes not only makes us happier with our wardrobes but it means we shop more mindfully and buy less things we don’t need.
Last month I was in Amsterdam and visited the Lena Fashion Library where you can borrow clothing with your monthly membership. I was able to interview co-founder Suzanne about the library and also try out borrowing some clothes!
I love the idea of borrowing instead of buying clothing, especially for special event items, trying out new styles, and clothes that typically don’t get a lot of wear.
What do you think of the idea of a fashion library? Would you use one?
The sun is bright and the flowers are blooming- I’m so excited it’s spring! Last year we had a pretty cold and rainy spring but this year looks like it’s going to be beautiful. I planned this capsule optimistic about good weather but also have options for the cooler days which will likely happen.
In total there are 31 pieces, plus I will be adding the skirt when it arrives. I also might add my second pair of jeans if the weather happens to cool down, but trying to be optimistic! The transitional seasons (fall & spring) I find can be tricky because in Cologne it’s difficult to predict what the weather will be like so I aim to have lots of layering options.
If you don’t know I generally follow Project 333 guidelines, but I don’t include jewellery or belts. Also as per the guidelines underwear, sleep and lounge clothes, and athletic clothing are not counted.
Hope you have a lovely spring! xx
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The weather finally feels like spring! I’m still using my winter capsule wardrobe and I’ve been repeating this outfit so much. It’s not only super comfortable but still looks put together and is perfect for the current weather.
This Kowtow tee dress is my current favourite piece, I wear it as often as possible. Made from fair trade organic cotton, it’s so soft and comfortable – like wearing pajamas 🙂
In January I traveled to Berlin to attend the Ethical Fashion Show and GreenShowroom and while I was there had some time to also check out some eco fashion stores and vegan restaurants in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg area.
We stayed at a “biohotel” called the Almodóvar which incorporates sustainability in so much of what they do. For example they have organic foods and textiles, use sustainable and reclaimed materials, and are conscious of their energy use and try to reduce it where possible- something I didn’t even think about before staying there was the energy it takes to have mini-fridges in hotel rooms. It’s a lovely hotel and I particularly liked all the wooden furniture- from sustainable forests!
Berlin is amazing for vegan restaurants, we really enjoyed The Bowl, 1990 Vegan Living and brunch at Lück’s, and had some amazing donuts from Brammibal’s. The hotel also has an organic vegan/vegetarian restaurant with a nice breakfast buffet.
There also are a lot of sustainable fashion stores in Berlin too, on this trip I visited Möon, Loveco, and Homage which are all beautiful shops carrying amazing eco brands and local designers!
Also not included in the video I went to the huge Humana thrift store in Friedrichshain and Made In Berlin which has a great selection of vintage clothes.
These are only a few of the stores and restaurants in Berlin though, you can always find wonderful places exploring the city. It’s also a really sustainably conscious city and a great place to eat out as a vegan or shop consciously.
In January I took a trip to Berlin to attend the Ethical Fashion Show and GreenShowroom– a joint trade fair where conscious brands sell their new collections (in this case F/W 17) to retailers. It was wonderful to see and chat with so many sustainable and ethically-minded brands! These are some interviews I did with a small % of the brands (I think there were around 180 total exhibitors!).
I loved hearing everyone’s stories and seeing all the different approaches to responsible fashion- from brand new, innovative ideas to using techniques that are thousands of years old!
What really stood out to me was how passionate everyone is about what they’re doing, it’s incredibly inspiring to see so many people who are working towards a better industry even though they face a lot of challenges. I wanted to focus on more positive stories with these videos but I also chatted about how difficult things can be. In particular people talked about how there’s pressure to lower their prices and also a lot of stigmas around sustainable/ethical fashion- some buyers avoid the event entirely and apparently stores are sometimes wary of being labeled an “eco fashion store” because of consumer perceptions. Conscious fashion has come a long way and is definitely growing but it also reinforced that there’s still a long way to go.