Bumbleride Review – I Found a Sustainable Baby Stroller!

posted in family, travel 5

When I was pregnant, a stroller was the item I spent the most time researching — we had a lot of functional requirements plus I wanted something eco friendly. With so many stroller brands and types on the market I was actually surprised how difficult it was to find a company that prioritized sustainability, safe materials, and transparency.

Enter: Bumbleride.

I was thrilled to find Bumbleride because it checked all the boxes of what we needed (and then some), and is pretty comparable or even better priced than many of the non-sustainable brands I looked at. If you’re in the same boat, looking for an eco friendly and functional stroller, here’s my Bumbleride review:

Bumbleride Era review
(please note: some affiliate links are used in this post which means we may get a small commission)

We have the Era reversible stroller* (in Dawn Grey) which I chose mainly for its convertibility — it can be used from infants to small children (up to 55 pounds). I was also drawn to its air-filled tires and suspension since I knew we’d be taking it through snow, on gravel paths and other rougher terrain. Additionally, I wanted something that wasn’t too large and awkward to take into stores and that folded easily and compactly.

Handling: The Era handles our snowy and sometimes very icy afternoon walks amazingly well. The air-filled tires are so much better for bumpy terrain than solid ones, and they have impressive grip on ice. I actually really appreciate holding on to the stroller during icy walks because it make me slip less!

I even recently had another parent approach us to ask what kind of stroller we had because they saw how much better it handled the snow than theirs.

Going for a walk in the snow with the Bumbleride Era

Fabrics: Bumbleride uses fabrics made from 100% recycled plastic bottles that are Oeko-Tex certified, which means they’ve been tested and don’t contain any toxic chemicals — pretty important for babies who suck on everything and also good to know nothing harmful is against their skin. Such a relief to find a non toxic stroller! Additionally they offer organic cotton infant inserts and seat-liners, which is great if you prefer something more natural or have a baby with very sensitive skin.

Handlebar: The adjustable handlebar is great since my husband and I are very different heights. The cork it’s made out of is a sustainable material and doesn’t feel freezing to touch in winter, like plastic or metal. I would actually love to see them incorporate more cork into their products!

Bonus features: The stroller has a very large pop-out canopy which initially I didn’t think was necessary, but has been great for keeping the sun off baby at any angle. My only tiny criticism would be that it would be nice if there was a little loop inside the canopy to hang a toy or something to look at when the baby is fully reclined. I also really like the large storage basket underneath that provides enough room for whatever we need, or even a grocery run.

Manufacturing: They manufacture the strollers in a family-run factory in Taiwan that pays fair wages, doesn’t have overtime (which is unfortunately required in many factories) and actively works to reduce their waste.


Bumbleride Stroller Accessories: Customize Your Stroller

Bassinet: We also got the bassinet attachment. It isn’t at all necessary, since you can use the stroller right away with newborn infants and Bumbleride also has an organic infant insert for more support, but I liked being able to unclip the bassinet and move my daughter without disruption if she’s napping. The bassinet is also overnight rated so it’s safe to sleep in for long periods. We often used just the bassinet for her to nap in and it was especially helpful to have a portable bassinet when visiting people.

Using the Bumbleride Era with bassinet attachment

If you go out a lot and plan on having your baby nap in the stroller quite a bit, or if you want a bassinet that also attaches to a stroller, it’s a useful addition. I also find it’s especially convenient when going to restaurants or cafes since you can put the stroller next to your table and there’s a nice place for baby to sleep.

Cup holders: We also have the Bumbleride parent pack attachment, which includes 2 cup holders and a little space for your phone, keys, etc. It’s a great attachment for us since almost all of our outings involve bringing water bottles or picking up a coffee or tea (in our reusable mugs of course!).

Car seat adapters: Bumbleride offers adapters for various brands that allow you to connect your infant car seat to the Bumbleride stroller frame. We opted to get a convertible car seat instead of the bucket + forward facing, but if you have an infant bucket seat it seems like a great option.


Overall, I’m very happy with our Bumbleride stroller and love all the practical and sustainable features. We’re looking forward to using it for years and trying out the different positions as our daughter grows. 😊

If you’re looking for an eco friendly stroller I hope this review was helpful!

Update 2021 – toddler stroller & stroller quality: We’ve been using it now for over 2 years and still love it! It’s held up wonderfully well, is good quality and has had no issues.

💚

Also check out my other sustainable baby must-haves!

* For transparency: I approached Bumbleride and they did gift me the Era stroller, however I was ready to purchase it myself and as always, gifted products do not affect my reviews of them.

Updated September 12, 2022

Winter Capsule Wardrobe 2020

I finally have my capsule to share with you! With having a baby and then our time in the hospital, it’s taken me quite a while to get this together and film it, but this is what I’ve been wearing this fall and winter.

(Please note: this post does contain some affiliate links and some gifted products however this does not affect my opinion of the products)


The Clothes in my Capsule:

Tops

Bottoms

Dresses

Layers


So those are the clothes in my capsule, but because I’ve been getting questions about nursing undergarments, I’ll also share those:

  • I have a tank/cami from PACT (and will likely get another)

Bras


Like I said in the video, this was definitely a more challenging capsule to plan, but overall it meets my needs and I’m looking forward to tweaking it each season as I adjust to new life changes!

💚

Sustainable, 2hand, & Minimal Nature-Themed Nursery

posted in family, home 0

Before moving into and getting our new house ready (you can watch both the process and final house tour) I got the most questions and interest in what we’re doing with the nursery and what kinds of cooking/dining stuff we have so I’ll be doing a more in-depth post about both!

Note: this post contains some affiliate links

With a new baby on the way and a new house I was looking forward to planning a space for our child to grow in and enjoy. I wanted something comfortable and engaging but without a lot of clutter.

The room gets beautiful light and I really wanted it to be bright and inviting. The first thing I did was figure out the colour palette – I definitely wanted something gender neutral. After going through tons of paint colours I just kept going back to white however a plain white room also seemed bare and boring especially since we weren’t planning on having a ton of decor items; that’s when I came across Farrow & Ball’s wallpaper and decided doing an accent wall was the perfect way to bring some colour and design into the room and also be something for baby to look at from the crib.

I chose their Atacama print in a lovely green which has abstract flower and cactus shapes. This then set the tone and theme for the rest of the room. I decided on a colour palette of grass-green, white, muted yellow, and orange accents.

For the other walls in the room we went with a warm white also from Farrow & Ball who makes eco-friendly, non-toxic, and baby-safe paints.
(note: I reached out to them and they kindly gifted me the wallpaper and paint)

Painting over the yellow walls made such a difference in the room!

I knew we were getting a secondhand crib in white and because of the beautiful wallpaper I really wanted to get an open bookshelf that would show the paper through and not be too heavy-looking in the corner. After a lot of searching on buy/sell sites, I finally found this white ladder shelf which works perfectly.

On the shelf we keep some books, toys, a couple succulents, and the top shelf is the perfect place for a baby monitor. I also got a lovely fair trade, woven grass basket from Ten Thousand Villages to keep some toys in and my mother knit a couple cozy cotton blankets which we have out for snuggling.

The only thing I’d still like to add is a little mobile above the crib which I’m planning on DIY-ing and will update the post with once it’s finished!

For the other side of the room I found this yellow dresser which provides more than enough storage for clothes, bedding, and some odds and ends (there is no closet in the room). Next to it there’s a little basket which we use as a clothing hamper and I was able to get this wooden glider frame secondhand and DIY’d the cushions which you can see happen in my video. Then we have a little reading/side table with a bunny lamp (which was another great secondhand find), although I’m thinking of painting the lampshade to add a bit more colour. At first I wasn’t sure if we needed a table, but it’s been very useful to keep things at arms-reach.

Corner with glider and dresser

To add some colour to the wall I love getting illustrations and designs from Creative Market, they have tons of posters, cards, images, and graphics which you can print as-is or use to create your own designs. It’s much more affordable than buying prints and they have tons of great baby/nursery designs!

Floral B by tatiletters part of “It’s a Girl Unicorns and flowers” collection (I just changed the colours)

To go with our nature theme I also got this rug with geometric plants (kindly gifted from Made Trade) which is handwoven by artisans from excess wool and cotton. I really like the mix of organic and geometric plant patterns and shapes in the room.

I was happy to be able to use a couple fairytale woodblock prints that my great aunt made in the 50s, and picked up this lovely cut-out pillow from Ten Thousand Villages to make a comfy corner and bring some green to the other side of the room as well as slightly mirroring the wallpaper with some texture.

Putting up books with nice illustrations makes super simple, cute, and functional decor plus it’s fun to change them up throughout the year! We have mostly books about animals and nature so it also fits the room theme nicely.

I also used some of the wooden toys we have on the shelves (the stacking robot is from Little Miss Workbench who I discovered through Buy Me Once and the wooden age-counter blocks are from Canadian brand Whittle Wood) and my mother saved some of the good quality stuffed animals I had as a child which I’m excited to now pass on to my daughter.

Overall I’m really happy with how the room turned out, it’s calm and comfortable but still fun and playful which is exactly the kind of atmosphere I was hoping to create. I’m also thrilled that we were able to get basically everything secondhand or from conscious brands. We can’t wait to enjoy the room more and more as she grows!

💚


Read more about how we (almost) furnished our entire home without buying anything new and check out my post on eco newborn must-haves!

The Secret Plastic Waste That Comes With Your Clothes

Did you know that basically all clothing is shipped in plastic? Even if you buy a garment in store, it likely still came shipped in a wasteful plastic poly bag.⁠

Poly bags are typically made from polyethylene or polypropylene, materials that require crude oil and don’t biodegrade. Even so, many brands use them because they protect the clothing from getting damaged during shipping, which can be quite dirty and wet. Without the plastic, entire shipping containers of clothing could be ruined. Imagine the overall environmental impact and labour required to make that clothing — from growing all the fibres, making and dyeing the fabrics, cutting and sewing the garments, and more — which now can’t be sold because some rain leaked in and damaged all the clothes.⁠ Poly bags also keep the clothes clean in shipping warehouses or during storage.

Conscious brands like Patagonia and People Tree have looked into this issue and determined that plastic bags are necessary since the alternative is a huge amount of clothing waste.⁠ Patagonia has a particularly in-depth public study and assessment of their plastic packaging. Personally I agree that if the choice is between a ton of wasted clothes or plastic bags, the plastic waste is less bad, but I also really hope innovative solutions can be found.

Some brands use bags made from recycled plastics, and others are experimenting with compostable and bio-plastic bags — all positive steps, but they are more expensive and the technology still needs improvements. Plus, even bags that are compostable often end up in landfills, where they can’t properly biodegrade. Clothing brands have also shared that certain stores and distributors have very specific requirements about how the clothing is packaged, which doesn’t leave much room for finding better alternatives.

Hopefully with time and awareness we’ll have better options, but currently this plastic waste is a pretty standard part of clothing manufacturing. It’s important to realize there’s only so much you can do as an individual — the supply chains and systems need innovation and reworking to solve problems like this. Supporting sustainable fashion is a great step to take, but like with everything it’s not perfect. 


This was originally posted to my Instagram but it generated such a great discussion that I wanted to repost it here in a more accessible place. And I’d love to keep the discussion going: What do you think about clothing packaged in plastic? Do you buy new sustainable clothing or avoid it for this reason? Also, eco brands: I’d love to hear your thoughts/experiences and how you approach this challenge!

Updated March 5, 2022

4 Things to Know This Black Friday


Black Friday and the whole sale weekend can be chaotic and oxytocin-fueled. If you are looking to snag some deals these are a few things you should be aware of to approach the next few shopping days more mindfully.


A lot of sales aren’t actually that good.

Companies are known to use clever and deceiving tactics to get you excited about their sales and think you’re getting a great deal. For example brands will use “loss leaders” where they have a few products deeply discounted to entice customers and make it seem like they have amazing sales but knowing that people will still buy other things at a profit. They might also have these items in very limited quantities so they sell out quickly to generate further excitement.

Brands have also been found to inflate their “original prices” so the sales look even better (everyone prefers getting 50% off instead of 20%) and some even list an original price which never existed, it was always intended to sell at the “sale price”.


Sales make us buy more.

Shopping gives us a short term “high” by triggering oxytocin in the brain and this increases when we feel like we’re getting a good deal. Being aware that you are actually fighting your own brain chemistry can help with more mindful shopping.

A great way to keep this in check is by asking yourself if you would still want the item if it wasn’t on sale.

Check out my video on the psychology of shopping:


Where is your money going?

There are unfortunately a lot of destructive and unethical companies out there so try to support brands that align with your sustainable and ethical values.

Manufacturing in a conscious way often means that the prices better reflect the true cost, so this can mean that these brands have a higher price point. Sometimes they can be out of budget so sales are a great way to score some pieces you’ve been eyeing!


Make sure your purchase is right for you.

When you are ready to buy something always ask these 10 questions to avoid impulse purchases, lots of returns, and so you know it’s something that you’ll get a lot of use from!



Are you taking part in sales this year?

Eco-Friendly Newborn Must-Haves

posted in family 4

Our little one is almost 2 months now (everyone says time flies but it really feels like the blink of an eye 😅). These are my must-have baby items that we use almost every day. I hope this roundup is helpful for planning for your new baby, buying gifts, or filing out your registry.

While we’ve luckily been able to get a lot of things secondhand (and I definitely encourage you to check out what secondhand options are available!) you can’t always find everything you need secondhand, and in that case here are some great eco-friendly options!


Diapering & Care

CLOTH DIAPERS – We were given a secondhand set of cloth diapers with a variety of brands so have had a chance to try out some different kinds. Our favourites are:

  • For diaper covers we actually prefer some of the all-in-one covers, however we actually use them with just regular prefolds. My husband’s favourite are the GroVia hybrid shells because the hook & loop makes it easy to use and the size is totally adjustable (UPDATE: the hook & loop does seem to wear out, so not sure if these are a great long-term option, we’re currently looking into ways to revitalize it) . I also like the Lil Helper covers because of how soft they are and the snaps are pretty easy, however I usually use them with regular prefolds – the fleece inserts they come with are nice for something less bulky but I prefer to use organic cotton.
  • Speaking of prefolds, we have a bunch of organic cotton ones from Bummis they’re pretty basic but work great! (although I don’t like their covers much 🤷‍♀️)
  • We also use these hemp boosters which are great!
  • If you’re looking for a more natural diaper cover option, there are also wool covers.

WIPES – I easily DIY’d a huge set of washable wipes from an old cotton flannel sheet, but I also like these hemp & cotton ones, they’re nice and soft and the most affordable I’ve found at $12 for 12.

DIAPER CREAM – Our baby developed a little diaper rash and my midwife said not to bother with anything without zinc oxide because they don’t work well so we picked up this one from Weleda and it’s cleared everything up!

SOAP – We use Dr. Bronner’s unscented baby soap, it’s super multipurpose!

LOTION – I use the same oils that I use on myself, usually sweet almond or jojoba. However you can also get lotions made just for babies.

Feeding

NURSING BRAS – This wasn’t an item I thought much about but after nursing 10+ times a day you definitely realize how practical a comfy nursing bra can be! Check out my roundup and reviews of sustainable nursing bras.

NURSING PADS – I leak, sometimes a lot. 😬 I’ve tried a few different kinds of reusable and washable nursing pads and so far these bamboo ones are the only ones that I don’t leak through.

BURP CLOTHS – Not just for burping, they are a multi-purpose necessity! I made a bunch of cloths from cotton flannel but there are also organic cotton ones you can buy.

BOTTLES – Glass or metal bottles seem to be the way to go for a more sustainable option. Kleen Kanteen makes a baby bottle, I’ve also found these and these cute ones for glass options.

NIPPLE BUTTER – Something I didn’t think I needed at first, but I was given Earth Mama’s organic nipple butter and it’s really nice, I use it multiple times a day! Especially for the first couple weeks when we were working on her latch and my nipples were very sore and cracking.

Going Out

STROLLER – Going for a walk has become an integral part of our day – it’s easy to get cabin fever with a little baby. Finding a sustainable stroller was really challenging though, so I was excited to discover Bumbleride who uses Oeko-Tex certified recycled PET fabrics. We have the Era* (plus bassinet attachment) and really love it – read my review here!

CARRIER – I love baby wearing and it’s probably our daughters favourite way to sleep, she’s immediately asleep when we put her in. 😴 I like using a wrap both when we go out and to be hands-free at home. We have a stretchy modal Solly Wrap that we found secondhand, and I’m planning on making a ring sling but apparently they only work well for smaller babies and buckle carriers are better for when they’re bigger.

BLANKETS – Useful for at home, but especially important when going out now that we’re getting into winter! My mother kindly knit a cotton blanket for B 😊 and I also like Parade Organics’ Everything Blanket which is organic and a great size for a variety of uses, plus comes in really cute prints.

CAR SEAT – Although I wasn’t able to find an eco option for car seats, we opted to get a convertible car seat as this allows us to use the same seat for years instead of needing to buy one for infants and another one once B gets a bit bigger. If you know of any eco-friendly options for car seats, please share in the comments!

DIAPER BAG – Personally I don’t find it necessary to have a specific diaper bag (we just used a backpack we already had), but there are some cute ones like these recycled sari bags if you are looking for one.

WET BAG – Important to have when going out for wet cloth diapers or wet/dirty clothes. We have one from Applecheeks but all the wet bags seem very similar? 🤷‍♀️


Sleep

CRIB – We got ours secondhand, but if you’re doing this make sure it meets the current safety regulations. For a new option Ouef’s cribs are made from sustainably sourced wood and non-toxic paints – they also convert into a toddler bed for longer use!
UPDATE: we actually ended up ditching the crib and moving baby B into a Montessori-style floor bed.

MATTRESS – We luckily scored an organic cotton and wool mattress secondhand which was barely used and covered in a protector, but I totally get wanting to buy a mattress new and in that case Naturepedic has a few different types of organic crib mattresses.

MATTRESS PROTECTOR – We did get a waterproof mattress cover from Naturepedic, so far we haven’t really needed it, but I’m sure a time will come where we’ll be glad it’s on! 😅

SHEETS – We have some organic crib sheets from both Naturepedic as well as these jersey ones which work great because our mattress seems to be slightly larger than standard so the stretch of the jersey makes them more flexible.

SWADDLING BLANKETS – Our baby doesn’t love being swaddled, but they are still useful for many different things! We have organic cotton ones like this.*

PACIFIER – I know some people don’t like using pacifiers, but it honestly has been a lifesaver. We have used and liked both these natural rubber ones by Ecopiggy* and these Hevea ones.

Toys

SOFT TOYS – I especially like Under the Nile because they use all organic and fair trade materials. I also really love Ouistitine’s beautiful toys, handmade from mainly recycled natural materials.

RATTLESPebble makes some super cute cotton, fair trade rattles. We got the mushroom for our little one. 🍄

PLAY GYMS – We don’t have one of these yet, I was thinking of making one but we’ll see if I have time. 😅
Finn & Emma make beautiful wooden ones though and Lovevery has an engaging one for learning/development!

DEVELOPMENTAL TOYS: I really like Montessori-style toys and Lovevery has a convenient play kit subscription which sends you toys every couple months designed for your babies age and development stage.

TEETHING – Although we’re not there yet, I plan on getting one of these sustainable wooden teethers.


Clothing

We got the vast majority of our baby clothes secondhand, but I also have a roundup of sustainable and organic baby and kids clothing if you’re looking for eco friendly brands!

SLEEPER – Our hands-down favourite sleeper is this gown-style from Parade Organics. I’m always sad when it needs to be washed and we have to use a regular sleeper. The open bottom allows for easy changing at night and the fold-over mittens keep baby’s hands warm and from scratching themselves.

Also an amazing idea are clothing rental services! These are a few I’ve found so far:

If anyone knows of a service like this in Canada please let me know!



That’s my roundup, but did I miss anything? Let me know what your must-have baby products are!

💚

*indicates the product was gifted, however my opinions and thoughts are my own and I’ve only shared gifted products I truly enjoy and use.

How We (Almost) Furnished Our Whole House Without Buying Anything New

posted in home 1

I recently posted a video showing the process of moving into our new house and trying to furnish and decorate it as sustainably as we could. One way we did this was getting as much as possible secondhand, and overall we were very successful!

Getting furniture and home decor secondhand is not only a lot better for the environment because you are making use of things that already exist, but it can also save you a TON of money. We managed to furnish and outfit our entire house for just over $5000 CAD (although this budget also includes the few pieces we ended up getting new which together was over $2000, so we did most of the furnishing for just $3000!).

It does take more time and planning to find what you’re looking for secondhand (as opposed to just doing a massive Ikea haul) but you can also get some really unique pieces and I think it’s a much more fun and creative process hunting down those pre-loved treasures and styling them in your space.

All the furniture in our living room we found secondhand!

Tips for creating a sustainably stylish home with secondhand pieces:

1. Get inspired

Starting with inspiration images can be extremely useful because it gives you some direction for your search and ideas for the kind of space you’re looking to create and style you want. Pinterest is a great place to find and collect inspiration images (you can check out my interior design board here 🙂), save everything you like and then narrow it down to the design elements, colours, types of items, etc. you most want in your home.

I also find creating a moodboard helpful for each room and I continue to update the board and adapt it as I acquire the various pieces.

Our living room mood/inspiration board

2. Have a (flexible) plan

Creating a list of what you need/want for your space will make your hunt a lot easier, and it also feels really good checking the items off! However try to not be too rigid with what you’re looking for – for example “wooden table” is a good thing to plan for, but if you have your heart set on one very specific style of wooden table then your hunt will likely be challenging or end in disappointment.

I also loved using a home layout program to plan what furniture we needed and since I was able to measure the rooms pretty accurately before we moved in, I could also double check how the items would fit in our space when we were thinking of purchasing something.

3. Be patient

It can take time to find the real treasures so check back regularly. Some sites also offer options where you can get a notification if new listings are added that match your search terms – take advantage of this, it’s a great way to save time. 🙂

Keep in mind that once the perfect piece pops up you’ll definitely want to move on it quickly though!


4. Ask questions

When contacting sellers try to get as much info as possible, especially regarding anything that might be a deal-breaker for you. Don’t waste time going to pick it up only to find out it’s not what you wanted.

I always ask about the condition, depending on the item I might ask how long they’ve had it, and what brand it is (and then do some research into the price and quality of the brand/product) and I also want to know the dimensions to make sure it will fit in our space.


5. Haggle (if you want to)

Once you have the information you want, you can try to haggle/barter if that’s something you’re interested in doing.

If the item is a little more than I’d like to pay, I’ll ask if the seller is open to an amount closer to my planned budget. Be fair and don’t go too low though, a “low ball” offer might be turned down completely. You can also wait to see the item and barter in person – especially if something isn’t what you expected or as advertised, try offering a lower price.


6. Be safe when meeting people

It’s good to meet in a public location, however buying furniture typically means going to someone’s house so in that case always bring someone with you, plus they can also help carry!


7. Check for quality & cleanliness

Give the piece an inspection to make sure it’s what you want and as advertised. If something isn’t what you expected don’t be afraid to walk away, or you can also haggle for a lower price if you’re still interested.

Look for signs of good quality so you know the piece is going to last and not break right away, and check for any stains, dirt, etc. – just like you’d check for with secondhand clothing!

Also consider how the item can be cleaned, many pieces just need a wipe or wash but it can get trickier with fabric furniture – it’s helpful to look for items with removable covers. I’ve also gotten questions about concerns with fabric furniture and things like bed bugs; personally I only try to by fabric furniture that is very gently used or “like new”. We also always inspect it thoroughly and if you’re concerned you might also want to consider renting a steam cleaner.


8. Customize

Don’t forget that most things can be DIY’d and customized to your needs. For example lots of furniture can be painted, so if you find a piece you love but the colour isn’t right you can probably paint it!

There’s endless inspiration for projects on Pinterest and in particular I always like to check out Ikea hacks since you can typically find a lot of Ikea furniture for sale secondhand and there are some really unique ideas of ways to customize it or make totally new pieces.

I made new cushions for this old wooden glider frame

9. You can likely re-sell it

If you buy things new they will almost always depreciate in value. However one of the big benefits to buying things secondhand is if it happens to not work out or you decide you want to change things up, there’s a good chance you can re-sell it and get your money back (or if you got a good deal maybe even make a little extra!).

Knowing that I can re-sell a piece for probably close to what I paid makes it a lot easier to make a decision, whereas if I’m buying something new, I need to make sure it’s the right piece for the space and we’re going to have it for years. This can sometimes be very difficult to plan and commit to, so I really like the flexibility and lack of guilt you get with secondhand and knowing you won’t lose a lot of money re-selling pieces that might not work.


Where to buy secondhand furniture, decor & home goods

  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Buy/Sell and Classified sites – depending where you live there are different ones that will be more popular in your area
  • Local thrift and resale stores
  • Garage and yard sales
  • Freecycle and Buy Nothing groups
  • Flea markets
  • On the streets – in some cities you can find great pieces that people leave out on certain days to give away
  • Friends and family – ask them to let you know if they’re planning on getting rid of anything
  • The previous owner/tenant – we’ve often found when moving that there are certain items the previous occupant might want to leave or get rid of. Let them know that you might be interested in certain things and they might sell or give them to you.

Many of these are also great ways to sell secondhand furniture if you’re looking to get rid of things or update pieces!


I’d love to know if you have any other tips for furnishing your home with secondhand pieces.. Also, check out the video to see the process of furnishing our new house!

💚

We Don’t Need Another “Save the Planet” T-Shirt or Tote

At least a couple times a month I get an email from a brand asking if they can send me their slogan tee or tote bag. These brands have good intentions – they’re trying to spread awareness and many also donate a portion of sales from the product to organisations and charities working for the cause. However I always refuse – there are just so many tees and totes in the world.

I don’t think the environmental benefit of awareness or donation actually outweighs the impact of making the item in the first place.

So what is the impact of a tee or tote bag?

It’s hard to get exact numbers because production and use of clothing is quite complex, but one study by Carbon Trust of the impact of a conventional cotton tee found that the average t-shirt is responsible for about 15kg of CO2. However use plays a HUGE role because this amount of emissions is based on 50 wears of the t-shirt, if the tee is only used 4 times the impact skyrockets around 550% to 98kg of CO2.

Also important to note is this carbon footprint doesn’t include a slogan/graphic printed on, which usually is some form of plastic. So a printed slogan tee not only has a greater impact to make but likely also affects end-of-life recycling and biodegradability.

There are different studies that use different metrics which makes it hard to compare, but for the tote, since a cotton t-shirt and tote bag are roughly a similar size, I think it’s fair to say they have roughly a similar impact. Although I would estimate a tote bag gets more use than a t-shirt.

Do they get worn?

I am all for proudly making a statement with your clothing, but I’m curious how often people actually wear these slogan garments since I typically only see them come out of the closet for protests and environmental rallies. I also only seem to see social media influencers wearing them for the one image promoting the tee and then never again. 🤷‍♀️

The My Green Closet Facebook group weighed in on a poll about what kind of t-shirt they would rather have and wear (between a tee with a slogan they believed in or a solid colour tee) and 97% said they would want the solid, classic tee with less than 3% opting for the slogan tee.

Slogan tote bags do seem to be used more, but again do we really need more tote bags in the world?

I own one item with a slogan, my “There is no Planet B” bag from Remember Me Green, and for me a slogan bag is more practical and gets way more use than a slogan tee. However it’s also very important to point out that this bag is not another simple cotton tote – it’s a super durable bag made from recycled billboards that I use to go to the gym, beach, or on small trips and I got it knowing it will last me years, likely decades! The same cannot be said of most fabric shopping totes.

"There is no Planet B" slogan bag

Is this really an effective way to support a cause?

In my experience and from chatting with others, a great, plain classic tee is a go-to wardrobe staple, while anything with a slogan tends to gather dust in the closet, or becomes a pj or gym shirt.

I also have seen brands that definitely aren’t producing their environmental or social justice slogan t-shirts and totes as sustainably and ethically as they could be, they’re basically buying pre-made items and printing on them. If you’re trying to support a cause, making sure your product is as sustainable and ethical as possible should be a top priority.

A better option

Forget the slogan and focus on making stylish, wearable, inclusive, and long-lasting garments as sustainably and ethically as you can. They will get way more wear/use which reduces their environmental impact and people will still want to talk about and share the cool conscious fashion they have, they don’t need it printed across their chest. Plus you can also still have a charity element to your product without a slogan.


What do you think?

Do you love wearing slogan tees? Do they collect dust in your closet? I’d love to know your thoughts on this topic and if they’re something you think conscious brands should keep making!

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Sustainable Fabric & Yarn Stores

Making your own clothing is already a lot more sustainable and ethical than buying new, but it’s even better to source eco friendly materials if you can!

For all you sewers and DIYers, this roundup is a list of places where you can find sustainable and ethical fabric stores as well as yarns, dyes and other materials for your projects!

(please note: some affiliate links may be used in this roundup)
Sustainable and Ethical Fabrics

Where to Find Organic & Sustainable Fabrics

BULK HEMP WAREHOUSE (USA) – Sells a variety of hemp products include fabrics.

CORE FABRICS (Canada) – Have eco friendly options as well as deadstock fabrics.

EARTH INDIGO (Canada) – Organic and eco-friendly fabrics.

ELVELYCKAN DESIGN (Sweden) – GOTS certified organic cotton fabrics, design their own prints.

FAB SCRAP (USA) – Reclaimed and deadstock fabrics. I also have a video where I visited them in NYC.

FIL & TIC (France) – Mostly organic fabrics, some unique prints.

FORMER + LATTER (Canada) – Quality sustainable fabrics, sold in .1 m increments instead of half or full meters (good for saving money and waste as you can get exactly the amount you need).

GAIA CONCEPTIONS (USA) – Undyed and some naturally dyed knit fabrics.

LEBENSKLEIDUNG (Germany) – Large variety of organic and sustainable materials.

LILLESTOFF (Germany) – GOTS certified cotton fabrics, many different prints.

MAIWA (Canada) – natural fabrics and many white and undyed options for dyeing

MERCHANT & MILLS (UK) – “Slow fashion”, quality-focused sewing supplies and some sustainable fabrics.

OFFSET WAREHOUSE (UK) – Fabrics for all kinds of different clothing craft and interior projects, including unique sustainable fabrics like pineapple, banana silk, and recycled/remnant fabrics.

ORGANIC COTTON PLUS (USA) – GOTS certified fabric retailer with a variety of organic fabrics. Especially good for undyed and colourgrown cotton materials.

RAWGANIQUE (USA + Canada) – Organic cotton, linen, and hemp fabrics.

SIEBENBLAU (Germany) – Variety of mostly organic fabrics.

SIMPLIFI (USA + Canada) – Good variety of sustainable fabrics, some unique prints.

Sustainable and Ethical Knitting Yarns

Where to Find Sustainable & Organic Knitting Yarn

DARN GOOD YARN (USA) – Unique selection of yarns including fabric yarn from recycled saris.

GARTHENOR (UK) – Organic wool yarns in both natural and dyed colours.

IINOUIIO (UK) – Recycled wool yarns.

IZZY LANE (UK) – Wool yarns from their rescued sheep.

NATURAL RECYCLED YARN (USA) – Etsy store with reclaimed and recycled natural-fibre yarns.

ORGANIC COTTON PLUS (USA) – This organic fabric retailer also has a collection of organic yarns and naturally-dyed wool.

ROSY GREEN WOOL (Germany) – GOTS certified organic merino wool.

VEGAN YARN (Canada) – hand-dyed, sustainable, vegan yarns.

WOOL & THE GANG (USA & UK)- some (not all) recycled and sustainable yarns and knitting kits.

Indigo Shibori

Where to Buy Natural Dyes

These stores have a great selection of natural dye materials as well as helpful instructions on how to use them.

MAIWA (Canada)

WILD COLOURS (UK)


Updated Dec 29, 2021

Must-Have Versatile Garments

I love versatile clothing! Especially with a capsule wardrobe, having pieces that can be worn different ways gives you a lot more options for outfits and styling. I’ve found having a capsule wardrobe has helped me become a lot more creative with how I wear my clothes and playing around with styling them.

These are my favourite versatile types of garments – I think I’ll always have some version of these styles in my my wardrobe. It’s awesome not only how they can be dressed up or down, but also how they can be worn in different ways.

This post is in collaboration with one of my favourite brands, MATTER, and features some of their beautiful, artisan-made, versatile pieces. When designing they focus on function and timelessness so many of their pieces are adaptable and can be styled in numerous different looks.


The Jumpsuit

I love how easy it is to throw on a jumpsuit and look really put-together with minimal effort. It’s a go-to piece for me when travelling because of how versatile it is. I’ve been able to wear it with heels to formal events and with sneakers casually. I’ve even been able to layer it for colder weather.

MATTER’s classic jumpsuit has been a staple in my wardrobe for years and to add to it’s versatility, it’s even been wearable through my pregnancy so far thanks to the clever adjustable waist.


The Tee Dress

A simple tee dress is a staple in my wardrobe. I love that it can be worn casually or dressed up with accessories like a belt, shoes, and jewellery. It’s light and easy to layer over, and because of the loose, simple cut it can be tied or gathered in different ways for different looks.

Here’s a clip from an older video on versatile clothes of just a few different ways I wear my tee dress:


The Scarf/Wrap

Maybe the ultimate versatile piece, because not only can it be worn many different ways, but a simple rectangle of fabric can also be used as a blanket, tied into a bag, used for cover/shade, and more.

I love this printed travel wrap/scarf from MATTER and as an extra versatility bonus – it’s even reversible!


The Shirt Dress

Another easy piece which can be worn as a dress, top, or layer. I love playing around with tying it up, or leaving it open.

It’s also been another great “maternity friendly” piece, although it’s getting pretty tight this late into my pregnancy.

MATTER also has some really beautiful shirt dresses in their artisan fabrics!

Matter Prints Shirt Dresses


The Matching Set

Finally I got really into wearing a set of matching separates from MATTER before I was pregnant and can’t wait to pull them out of my closet again. You can get a jumpsuit look, but also wear the pieces separately. I even have a video about different ways you can wear a matching set!

I’d love to know what your favourite versatile garment is!

You can also check out the video I did with MATTER on cultural appreciation vs. appropriation and check out their artisan-made garments. They’re a brand doing amazing work and making beautiful, functional clothes that I’m really proud to be an ambassador for. 😊

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