Summer 2018 Capsule Wardrobe

We’re settling into life in Canada and after about 10 years living in pretty cloudy places I’m really enjoying all the sun we get in Edmonton. ☀ Living in a new place also means thinking about my capsule a little differently due to the weather. We can get really hot and sunny days but also cool, cloudy days, and even some pretty intense rain/thunderstorms. So I had to plan for a good mix of clothes for different kinds of weather. I also needed a few new pieces for this capsule wardrobe and you can check out my video where I went secondhand shopping for them.

Also I’m now going into my 5th year of capsule wardrobes which is pretty crazy, I can’t believe how long it’s been!

outfit from summer capsule wardrobe

The items in my summer 2018 capsule wardrobe:

  1. Blue tank – secondhand
  2. Draped tank – old, upcycled from a dress
  3. Purple tank – Comazo Earth
  4. Navy tee – Lanius
  5. White linen tee – Lanius (read more about my love of linen)
  6. Brown oversized tee – old
  7. Black tee – Funktion Schnitt 
  8. Long shirt – ArmedAngels
  9. Striped oversized shirt – secondhand
  10. Plaid draped shirt – secondhand
  11. Beige cardigan – old
  12. Denim jacket – secondhand
  13. White oversized jacket – old
  14. Green shorts – ArmedAngels
  15. Black denim shorts – secondhand
  16. Blue Tencel pants – Recolution*
  17. Dark jeans – Mud Jeans*
  18. Linen skirt – NotPerfectLinen* (read more about my love of linen)
  19. Yellow skirt – handmade & dyed
  20. Ikat jumpsuit – Matter Prints* (more about ikat and the jumpsuit)
  21. Silk romper – secondhand
  22. Floral dress – handmade
  23. Grey/black tank dress – old
  24. Grey tee dress – Kowtow
  25. Beige purse – Angela & Roi 
  26. Backpack – Matt & Nat (please read why I no longer support Matt & Nat)
  27. Black hat – secondhand
  28. Beige hat – old

Summer 2018 capsule wardrobe pieces

My capsule wardrobe is adapted from the Project 333 challenge. Over the course of creating many capsule wardrobes I’ve been fine-tuning them to figure out what works best for me. Last year I decided to no longer include shoes as part of my capsule wardrobe, I feel I have a good core “shoe capsule” and the one thing I occasionally seemed to miss was a certain pair of shoes. This has worked well this last year and I will continue to have a separate shoes from my wardrobe. My “shoe capsule” includes a pair of boots, heeled boots, sneakers, sandals, slip-ons, heels and athletic/running shoes.

I also no longer try to hit a specific number, just build a wardrobe I think would work well. It usually ends up being around 30-35 pieces, often on the higher end in fall/winter and lower in spring/summer.

pants and t-shirt from capsule wardrobe

Hope you have a beautiful summer! 🌴☀

 

*item was gifted from the brand

Cut, Colour, Carat… Clear Conscience?

found in secondhand | 4

Giving or receiving jewellery is often part of important celebrations and significant milestones like weddings, engagements, birthdays, or anniversaries. Besides being beautiful these pieces can express love, commitment, and many other meaningful things.

Unfortunately though, the reality of jewellery production is anything but joyful – full of corruption, human rights abuses, and environmental destruction. No one would say they want a special occasion like an engagement to contribute to such horrible things… so does this mean giving up your ring dreams? 💍 Don’t worry! There are ways you can still have those special pieces without supporting the harmful practices.

But first, what are the problems?

Maybe you’ve heard of “blood diamonds” or “dirty gold“, these names represent major issues in jewellery production and supply chains.

The mining of diamonds and precious metals can involve child labour, forced labour, and abusive conditions. Groups fighting for control of mines, theft, and workers/communities trying to stand up for their rights has resulted in incredibly violent conflicts and torture over diamonds and land. It’s a lucrative and corrupt industry with little protection or concern for the safety and welfare of those involved.

Mining also has a terrible impact on the environment, from destroying the Amazon rainforest to polluting water systems with toxic chemicals. On average mines need to process about 1 tonne of rock for every 1 gram of gold (a wedding ring can use anywhere from 2-12 grams) and diamonds are much higher – requiring about 50 tonnes of rock per 1g and only about 35% is actually gem quality. Pit mines can be so large they’re even seen from space.

A diamond pit mine in Russia – it looks alien and is hard to imagine the scale.

diamond pit mine
By Vladimir (Мирный) [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

 

“Conflict-Free” isn’t a Guarantee

Due to movies like Blood Diamond people are more aware of the ethical issues surrounding diamonds and look for conflict-free alternatives. The Kimberley Process was set up to stop trade in conflict diamonds but it’s not solving the problems, smugglers say it’s easy to get around and hasn’t stopped the black market. Conflict diamonds are “naturalized” to develop a new provenance, Global Witness interviewed diamond traders smuggling diamonds from the Central African Republic who say it’s an “open secret”, they “mix [trafficked diamonds] with other stones, get the right papers, and send them on their way”.

Brilliant Earth, a company who is often promoted as an ethical option and goes so far as saying their diamonds are “beyond conflict-free” was even found to have suspicious diamonds. An investigation into their “Canadian” diamonds found they actually have a shady chain of custody with the diamonds they looked into likely having an unknown origin.

 

So what can you do?

Buy secondhand! You probably already know that I’m a huge advocate for secondhand shopping. It’s incredibly environmentally friendly because nothing new is made and no new resources have to be used/extracted. You also aren’t supporting companies with unethical and unsustainable practices, or with jewellery, corrupt, damaging, and violent supply chains. Plus it’s a lot more affordable and who doesn’t like to save money?

There are lots of places you can buy secondhand or vintage jewellery either in person or online through sites like Etsy. I especially like looking through the jewellery at antique markets.

Finally, there’s a lot of jewellery just sitting around

How many of us have jewellery that was gifted or passed down which is never worn and just sits hidden somewhere slowly tarnishing? Like with our closets we tend to reach for the same pieces. I know things like jewellery can be difficult to let go of, but if they aren’t being used or appreciated isn’t it better to give these pieces new homes? Plus you can spend the money you make re-selling them on something you’ll actually get a lot of use from! It’s a win for everyone and the earth. 🌎

Alternatively you can also have old pieces remade or reworked into something you’ll actually wear. I think a lovely way to do this for wedding rings is use old gold jewellery from both sides of the family to have melted down and made into new rings. 💚

 

There are a lot of different ways you can still have those beautiful and special pieces but also with the comfort of knowing you aren’t supporting the dark and destructive industry practices.

 

UPDATE: this post has been updated to remove the previous brand partnership since Brilliant Earth had apparently contacted the brand and was upset about my comment about them.

Meow Meow Tweet baking soda free deodorant

Finally found a Baking Soda-Free Deodorant that Works!

found in product reviews | 5

I’ve been using deodorant with baking soda as the active ingredient for years (you can get my easy DIY recipe here) however when I talk about how much I like baking soda deodorants I always get comments from people who can’t use it because they find baking soda irritating. I also get asked for recommendations of BS-free natural deodorants – so I made it a mission to save your red pits and find a good one! 🙂

I’ve been testing out a few different ones and can finally say I found one that works! It’s the Baking Soda Free Deodorant Stick by Meow Meow Tweet* which I tried in the grapefruit scent. This also was the one I had the highest hopes for because I’d heard good reviews of it, and I actually am pretty impressed.

Meow Meow Tweet baking soda free deodorant stick

It holds up great during the day. If you’re sweating a lot it’s not the freshest by nighttime, but on a typical day I found it worked really well. I also got their Underarm Primer* which I love using. I did notice a difference in staying power when using the primer and deo together – especially if you’re going into a second day, the primer gives your pits a little refresh.

I also conducted a very scientific (and kinda gross) test to see if it actually worked as well as I thought: I wore the MMT deo + primer on one armpit and my regular BS deo on the other for a whole, normally active day. At the end of the day, for another opinion, I asked my husband Ben to smell both (yeah… 😬 glamorous life of a blogger-husband🥇) and he verified that he couldn’t smell any difference!

baking soda free deodorant

The deodorant has a coconut oil and arrowroot base, just like my DIY one, but instead of baking soda it uses magnesium hydroxide (a mineral also often used in antacid tablets), as well as cacao and shea butter, and essential oils. The stick application is really convenient to use. I don’t mind cream deodorant application but I get that some people prefer not to use their fingers. It’s also sustainably packaged in a cardboard tube! Plus if you’d like to just test it out and see if it works for you they have a “mini” size.

I’d recommend getting the primer if you have very sensitive skin or want some extra smell-defense. You can also use the primer with their baking soda deos to help with irritation and especially with transitioning to natural, baking soda deodorants; when I first started using a BS deo I initially found it a little irritating but then my body adjusted to it and there weren’t any issues, the primer is designed to also help with this transition.

Meow Meow Tweet underarm primer

 

Also awesome – Meow Meow Tweet* is a vegan and cruelty-free brand, they even replaced their use of palm oil with blends of other plant butters and oils. I was initially drawn to their fun packaging and adorable illustrations and love their focus on natural, organic ingredients and sustainability. 💚

 

 

*indicates an affiliate link – I am a MMT affiliate but that did not affect this review, my opinions are always my own. If you’d like to try out their products, purchasing through my links also supports My Green Closet with a small % commission, thank you!

Dyeing Clothes With Vegetables

found in Fashion, secondhand | 1

It’s Fashion Revolution Week and one aspect I love is the Haulternative campaign which promotes secondhand shopping, vintage, mending, renting, DIY – basically avoiding buying new clothes for a more sustainable and conscious wardrobe. 💚

This year I polled my Patrons about what they would like to see as a Haulternative and ended up creating a video about how to naturally dye your clothes!

 

I dyed an old cotton skirt (which was also originally dyed with coffee) using yellow onion skins, and a silk top from the thrift store with purple cabbage. This is a very simplified and easy version of natural dyeing, but here’s what I did:

  1. Collect and cut raw dye material into pieces
  2. Put in a large pot* and cover with about 2 parts water
  3. Simmer for about 45-60 minutes
  4. Strain out dye material
  5. Add garment to dye water
  6. Stir gently
  7. Let sit 12-24 hours, occasionally stirring
  8. Remove garment and rinse to get rid of dye
  9. Let air dry

*you shouldn’t use equipment you cook with for dyeing

Like I mentioned in the video, protein fibres work best and only dye natural materials. Also if you want the dyes to be even and more colourfast you should properly scour (especially for undyed materials) and mordant the fabric.

 

Natural dyeing is really fun to experiment with and I love how you can never be totally sure how it will turn out! A few other easily accessible foods you can use for dyeing are:

  • Coffee (brown)
  • Tea (brown)
  • Turmeric (yellow)
  • Avocado pits (light pink)
  • Red onion skins (orange/red-brown)
  • Most berries (purple/pink shades)

 

Some more DIY projects to inspire you to create or transform your wardrobe:

New to sewing? Check out Joan’s easy skirt tutorial.

Join in the fringe trend but instead of buying new, make your own fringed denim with Leah’s tutorial.

Add cute embroidered flowers to your clothes with Fashion Revolution’s video.

Create a simple poncho from vintage fabric like Alli did.

Or check out Coolirpa’s Thrifted Transformation series for tons of ideas on updating thrift finds.

 

Noumenon tencel ruffle dress

Sustainable & Fair Fashion Lookbook

(this post is a partnership with the featured brands, all thoughts are my own)

One thing that I find challenging is wanting to – and getting requests to – showcase and share more sustainable fashion brands but being limited by the space in my capsule wardrobe. So this spring I decided to try a new project idea and partnered with 3 of my favourite European conscious fashion brands to shoot a lookbook. I created a mini “dream capsule” for spring with an outfit from each brand that could also be mixed together!

Each of these pieces are really lovely and could easily become wardrobe staples. I also wanted to have a mix of casual, dressier, and versatile pieces since that’s really important in my wardrobe.

 

Look 1 | Recolution

Recolution fair fashion vegan hoodie and pants

This incredibly comfy outfit is from Recolution, a German sustainable, vegan, and fair fashion streetwear brand. I met one of the co-founders this winter at the trade shows and really love their products, sustainability initiatives, and design projects like partnering with artists to create their graphics and prints. It’s also a favourite of my husband who owns a few pieces.

Recolution eco fashion outfit

The hoodie is actually knit from a light, soft organic cotton yarn (GOTS certified) and I especially like the more fitted cut. I have a similar grey knit top in my wardrobe with just a crew-neck, but I actually think the hood adds a more unique element to the style and especially looks good layered under jackets.

The pants might be my favourite piece from the whole lookbook because they were just so damn comfortable. They’re made from Tencel (lyocell) which is a sustainable material created from eucalyptus wood in a closed-loop process and has a very soft, silky feel and drape. They’re a slim cut and have an elastic + drawstring waist, the material has a denim-like look while being way more comfortable than jeans. I also really love how they can easily be dressed up or down and when I need a new pair of trousers I’ll very likely replace them with these.

 

Look 2 | Lanius

Lanius linen lace-up top

The next look is from Lanius, a lovely womenswear brand I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know since moving to Cologne – I even interviewed the founder Claudia Lanius a few years ago! They always make beautiful pieces that could work for the office, events, or casual days.

Lanius floral maxi skirt made from Tencel

When I saw this floral maxi skirt, I knew it would be the perfect statement piece in the lookbook and perfectly captures the cherry blossoms that are now out. It’s made from a gauzy lyocell fabric with a comfortable elastic waistband and pockets! Even though the print is primarily pinks and reds it also has blue, green, and black accents which is always helpful for versatility and having colourful pieces in your wardrobe.

The white top is an organic linen knit with a lace-up front detail. I’ve owned a plain white linen tee from Lanius for the last few years and it’s a staple in my summer wardrobe. Linen is one of my favourite materials both to wear and because it’s really sustainable!

 

Look 3 | Noumenon

Noumenon deadstock jacket

Noumenon is a newer brand who’s founder Dena I also got to meet this winter. They are a passionately cruelty-free company and have a seasonless, “slow design” philosophy focusing on quality, longevity, and sustainable vegan materials. I particularly love their unique styles and how they utilize upcycled and deadstock materials.

Noumenon tencel dress and deadstock upholstery fabric jacket

This flared-sleeve jacket is actually made from deadstock furniture fabric! This makes it a really unique, one-of-a-kind statement piece while also being warm, durable, and sustainable.

The dress is another lyocell piece giving it that beautiful drape, and the loose cut makes it really comfortable and easy to wear. It’s a really versatile style and can be dressed up or down, you can also belt it, and wear the ruffle on the shoulders, off the shoulders or just on one shoulder (all shown in the video below). I also like the stripe detail along the sides which adds an interesting design element.

Noumenon tencel ruffle dress

 

This was such a fun project to shoot and I hope you enjoyed seeing the pieces and learning more about these awesome brands. It’s also really important to mention that all of the brands not only are sustainable but are also transparent about their production and work closely with, and have ethical standards for their factories. 💚

 

You can see the clothes in action in the video! As well as some behind-the-scenes of the photoshoot and how I styled the pieces together to create some different looks and outfit combinations.

 

I’d love to know what you think of the lookbook and which look was your favourite!

 

All photos shot by Dennis Wilhelms Photography.

Spring 10×10 Challenge

I decided to do the 10×10 Challenge again this spring. It’s such a fun way to do a “mini capsule” and try out some different combinations.

These are the 10 items I chose

pieces in my 10x10 challenge

  1. Denim jacket
  2. Beige cardigan
  3. Grey cotton jumper
  4. Navy tee
  5. Sweater
  6. Cropped trousers
  7. Yellow skirt
  8. Jumpsuit
  9. Ankle boots
  10. Sneakers

I really wanted to include the yellow skirt in my 10×10 because it’s a “new” piece in my capsule (newly dyed) and I wanted to try out some combinations with it. The piece I was most excited to wear more was the jumpsuit. It was in my winter capsule wardrobe but isn’t the easiest piece to wear in winter since it needs layers, but I’m excited to get more wear from it this spring and summer!

The outfits I woreDay 1-4 outfits of the 10x10 challenge

This past week was extra busy for me – I had a shoot for an exciting new project, we had an open house to find another tenant to take our apartment, my dad came to visit, and we are going on a trip to Croatia soon so there’s lots to get done before that. It was wonderful to keep the outfits simple and have to think even less about what to wear each day.

Day 5-8 outfits of the 10x10 challenge

I really enjoyed the blue and yellow colour combination with the skirt, and the jumpsuit was exactly what I hoped it would be – an easy garment that’s really comfortable which can be both casual or dressier. I also realized it’s a great piece for biking in because there’s room for movement and even though the legs are quite wide, since they are shorter so you don’t have to worry about them touching the chain/spokes. 🚲

Day 9 & 10 outfits of the 10x10 challenge

Day 9 ^ was a “fail” for me though. We surprisingly had a really gorgeous weekend with 25°C weather and decided to have a BBQ in the park with some friends. I planned on wearing the wool sweater and skirt that day but this was not going to work for the weather or hanging around in the grass. Unfortunately since it was almost the end of the challenge, my jumpsuit needed to be washed and I was going to wear the tee the following day so I didn’t have any suitable options left from my 10 pieces and just decided on jeans and a top from my regular capsule. Sometimes unexpected things happen. 🤷‍♀️

 

I didn’t get as creative this season as I’ve tried to do before and it wasn’t the most successful challenge with the weather changes, but overall I’m really happy I did it again. It not only was it fun to put together and share the looks but I loved following the other #10x10friends on Instagram and seeing everyone’s outfits! It’s always inspiring to see how people mix-up and create looks with their pieces.

 

Have you tried the 10×10 challenge? Or would you ever try it?

 

 

Spring Capsule Wardrobe

(please note: this post contains some affiliate links)

 

Time for another capsule wardrobe! I’m pretty excited for spring and have brought a few lighter colours into my closet through natural dyeing (which I’ll be doing a video about later). Here are the pieces I have in my spring capsule wardrobe:

 

Capsule wardrobe tops

  1. Knit tank – handknit
  2. Velvet bodysuit – Underprotection (read a brand review)
  3. Purple silk tee – secondhand/dyed
  4. Navy tee – Lanius
  5. Black tee – Funktion Schnitt 
  6. Grey jumper – People Tree
  7. Flower shirt – Amour Vert & dyed
  8. Grey/brown sweater – Izzy Lane
  9. Black sweatshirt – Dedicated*Capsule wardrobe layers and jackets
  10. Long shirt – ArmedAngels
  11. Plaid draped shirt – secondhand
  12. Beige cardigan – old
  13. Gold/green jacket – secondhand
  14. Brown jacket – handmade
  15. White jacket – old
  16. Denim jacket – secondhand
  17. Grey jacket – Näzcapsule wardrobe bottoms
  18. Black pants – People Tree
  19. Light jeans – MUD Jeans* (I will be replacing these this season)
  20. Wool trousers – secondhand
  21. Linen skirt – NotPerfectLinen* (read more about my love of linen)
  22. Yellow skirt – handmade & dyedcapsule wardrobe dresses
  23. Ikat jumpsuit – Matter Prints* (more about ikat and the jumpsuit)
  24. Black dress – People Tree
  25. Tee dress – Kowtow
  26. Tank dress – old
  27. Draped wool dress – secondhand
  28. Beige purse – Angela & Roi 
  29. Backpack – Matt & Nat (please read why I no longer support Matt & Nat)
  30. Black hat – secondhand

30 pieces in my spring capsule wardrobe

My capsule wardrobe is adapted from the Project 333 challenge. Over the course of creating many capsule wardrobes I’ve been fine-tuning them to figure out what works best for me. Last year I decided to no longer include shoes as part of my capsule wardrobe, I feel I have a good core “shoe capsule” and the one thing I occasionally seemed to miss was a certain pair of shoes. This has worked well this last year and I will continue to have a separate shoes from my wardrobe. My “shoe capsule” includes a pair of boots, heeled boots, sneakers, sandals, slip-ons, heels and athletic/running shoes.

I also no longer try to hit a specific number, just build a wardrobe I think would work well. It usually ends up being 30-35 pieces, often on the higher end in the fall/winter and lower in spring/summer.

 

Hope you have a beautiful spring! 🌼🌷

 

* this item was gifted from the brand

Finding my Perfect Bra

This post was kindly sponsored by Lara Intimates.

Bras have been difficult for me – trying to find something that checks my ethical and sustainable criteria, plus looks good, and fits correctly has been a challenge, but then Lara Intimates came along.

I discovered Lara in their crowdfunding stage and loved their mesh styles and mission, but initially assumed they wouldn’t have my size. So I was thrilled when they reached out asking if I wanted to test their “Find My Bra Size” feature and found out they actually do make my size!

Lara Intimates Wren Bra

Here’s what I love about Lara

They use reclaimed and surplus materials

They source luxury lingerie fabrics from companies who have leftovers or maybe had an issue like the fabric was the wrong colour, these textiles are unused but would just go to the landfill if brands like Lara didn’t exist. Any fabrics they do get in weird colours they have dyed black to match. It’s not just their textiles that are eco-friendly, Lara also used reclaimed and surplus components and hardware when possible and sustainable options for things like their tags and packaging.

 

They cut and sew consciously

Two often overlooked sustainability issues with fashion is excess stock waste and cutting room waste. Lara makes all their garments to order so they don’t have unused stock and this also allows them to be strategic when cutting out the fabric – mixing and laying pattern pieces like a tetris puzzle to reduce fabric waste.

Lara Intimates Coral Bra

They have their own studio-factory

Lara’s founders Faith and Cindy wanted to manufacture locally but they they were shocked to find there was only one lingerie factory in Britain and they couldn’t afford to work with them. So what did they do? Set up their own factory in-house! Lara has an all female team and a focus on providing training and a high standard of living for their employees. They even have plans to launch an apprenticeship program to train and provide job opportunities for low-income and vulnerable women teaching them technical design and manufacturing skills.

 

They have great styles

The typical “eco” bras I’m used to are basically a simple bralettes with elastic and a piece of fabric, but Lara has changed the game with their unique, mesh-panel designs. Their styles not only look really good but the layered mesh also adds extra support where you need it.

Lara Intimates bras

They actually fit

Ordering online you never know how the garment is going to fit, so it’s extra daunting ordering something like a bra. Not only was I happy they actually carried my size, but I was also impressed how well both styles fit. I do prefer the Wren bra comfort-wise because I just don’t find a halter as comfortable across the neck, but both are snug and supportive and fit well in the cups without any issues.

Also if their size calculator didn’t work for you, you can return or exchange your bra for free! (Or if you’re in London book a fitting at their studio)

 

They want women to love their boobs

Lara also has a wonderful body-positive ethos. They shoot on models with different body types and also have women share their stores in The Boob Diaries. I wish I could say that I’m 100% confident in my body but the reality is I had to push myself to take photos and film in just a bra. It’s not only incredibly awkward since I’m not at all a model and don’t know what to do, but I couldn’t help but wonder what people will think and compare myself to all the gorgeous, skinny, tanned women on Instagram. Loving your body is a personal journey, but I also think brands who showcase more than one body type is an important part of helping change how we see ourselves.

Lara Intimates Wren Bra

 

Today is International Women’s Day so a perfect time to join me in practicing some self-love and acceptance. 💕

Also it’s a great day to remember that roughly 80% of garment workers are women, so an incredible way to support other women around the world is by supporting women-owned businesses and brands that pay fair wages, care about, and empower the women who work for them!

 

Learn more about Lara

💋

 

 

Wandering the streets of Lisbon

Green Lisbon

found in travel | 0

We recent went on a wonderful trip to Lisbon. This was our first time visiting Portugal and much of what we experienced was from suggestions – thanks to everyone who recommended places! As we visited in mid-February we only saw a fraction of the visitors that likely visit in high season and were lucky enough to still get sunny weather nearly every day. We spent most of our time wandering the neighbourhoods and cobblestone streets. Although we had sore legs from the many hours of walking each day, we really enjoyed our time there. Here’s a few of our favourite places to see, shop, and eat at if you’re visiting beautiful Lisbon:

 

What to Do

LXFactory

LXFactory sign Lisbon

LXFactory was recommended by many people, and with good reason! It’s a district with old brick buildings and warehouses filled with shops, cafés, restaurants, and artist’s studios. There are even a few sustainable/ethical stores (details below), and a restaurant with mostly vegan food (not our favourite, but nice for a lunch while exploring LXFactory). I recommend planning an afternoon here and meandering slowly from place to place, have some drinks and food, and check out the street art.

 

Alfama neighborhood

Alfama Lisbon

Alfama is full of traditional-style buildings with cobbled, narrow streets winding up, down, and through the hills. Speaking of hills, this neighbourhood has plenty of them – definitely come prepared with decent walking shoes when you visit. There was something interesting to experience at any time of day – the sleepy quiet of mornings, laundry draped outside of the windows’ clotheslines, the impressive wall art around nearly every corner, and Fado songs (typical Portuguese music from Alfama) drifting out of nearly every restaurant later in the evenings. Definitely give this neighbourhood a wander if you’re in Lisbon!

 

Miradouros

Lisbon viewpoint

As Lisbon is a hilly city, there’s no shortage of viewpoints or Miradouros throughout the hills. Try to visit a few in different neighbourhoods if the weather is clear, as they’ll give you a picturesque view of the city and ocean. We visited any that happened to be nearby or on the way we were heading, and they were all impressive in their own way.

view of Lisbon

 

Where to Shop

Organii

Organii eco shop Lisbon

Organii is one of the eco/ethical shops we visited at LXFactory and we were really impressed! It’s full of natural, organic, sustainable, and ethical products ranging from housewares to fashion to children’s toys and clothing. I even found the coat I’ve been looking for! It’s made by a conscious Portuguese company called Näz, their materials are all production surplus and deadstock, and they only use recycled buttons on their garments made from things like paper, cotton, and even coffee grounds. The coat is exactly what I had been searching for and I’m so glad I waited for the right piece. This shop is a must when visiting LXFactory. Organii also has a cosmetics-only shop just down the road from their larger location. They carry different natural brands as well as their own line of soaps and oils, I also picked up their winter body oil which has a lovely spicy/forest-y scent.

Organii natural beauty in Lisbon
Checking out their in-house oils

 

There are a few other Organii locations in Lisbon (some cosmetics only or baby products) but if you’re already visiting LXFactory, you’ll get everything they offer in one location. We also saw SkunkFunk (sustainable fashion), and Nae (Portuguese-based vegan shoes) while wandering through LXFactory so definitely check those out while you’re there as well!

 

Fair Bazaar
Shopping at Fair Bazaar Lisbon
Looking at Näz in my new Näz coat

Fair Bazaar is a small shop is situated in a gorgeous old building along with other interesting stores, collectively called Embaixada. They also sell Näz (and carry more of the line than Organii), as well as other clothing brands, shoes, accessories, jewellery, and some care products. Everything here is sustainable or ethical and they also sell some cork products, which is a very common material in Portugal. Although it’s important to note that while there’s a lot of cork it seems like most of the cork companies also include leather in their products, which was pretty disappointing to see – although Nae (at LXFactory) has some cork shoes that are completely vegan!

 

Sapato Verde

Natural and eco car products at Sapato Verde

Sapato Verde is a vegan shopper’s dream! They carry a variety of shoes as well as bags, clothing, accessories, home goods, toiletries, and even have a small vegan grocery store and café at the back. They have an interesting selection of eco-friendly products including a candle brand that uses old cooking oil for their candles and flip flops made of cork.

shoes at Sapato Verde Lisbon
Some of the casual shoes they offer

I was most impressed with their selection of footwear including Nae, Natural World, and Original Cork in styles from dress shoes to runners to casual shoes.

 

Garbags

Garbags upcycled bags

This one was an interesting surprise and classically eco-friendly. Garbags takes everyday waste such as coffee bags, tire inner tubes, shampoo containers, and other kinds of packaging waste to create unique pieces including wallets, carrier bags, pouches and notebook covers. They even have a deal where if you bring in some of your waste (something they can use) they’ll give you a discount on their products! They also offer interchangeable covers for their messenger bags, so you can change up your style without buying a totally new bag. Definitely a unique business model and it’s cool to see how they turn waste into functional products.

 

Where to Eat

The Food Temple

One of our favourite meals of the trip was at The Food Temple. You’ll find it down some narrow twisting sidewalks, just look for the blue light out front. We recommend making reservations here, as when we arrived (without reservations) there luckily happened to be space for 2 at a shared table, but many who came after us weren’t so fortunate. Their menu changes daily and they have shared tapas and dishes. On the day we went we had a spinach soup, veg chorizo and avocado salad, some kind of interesting potato dish, and a burger with the thinnest curly fries to share which was a pretty good amount for us. They had a variety of local craft beers and interesting desserts such as the lavender-infused raspberry cake they offered on our visit. The staff were super friendly and it was a lovely dinner, but unfortunately I don’t have photos. 🙁

 

Princesa do Castelo

Princesa Do Castelo vegan restaurant, Lisbon

Princesa do Castelo is a small vegan restaurant/cafe in Alfama that also has a changing daily menu (this seems to be common in Lisbon), we ate here a couple times and weren’t disappointed. They have a few long shared tables plus a couple tables for 2, but again space is limited so reserve a table or arrive before the lunch/dinner rush. The first time we went we each tried one of the 2 mains – a vegetable thupka with ginger lemon tofu, and a chickpea/pumpkin/spinach curry (pictured). We finished with Portuguese custard tarts; although these are common in Lisbon they offer a vegan version.

 

Sama Sama

Sama Sama crepes, Lisbon

We were walking around on the one rainy day we had and stopped here for a quick lunch. Sama Sama is a tiny crepe and juice bar with just a bar, so don’t expect a place to sit (though there were a couple of small stools near the door). They serve vegetarian and vegan crepes both savoury and sweet, and the two we had were fantastic! Since it was lunch we had savoury crepes but I wish we had time to also go back and try the sweet ones. This place is especially great if you want to grab a crepe and walk around the neighbourhood or by the ocean.

 

Overall Lisbon was a lovely city and perfect for travellers like us who like to wander through the streets and neighbourhoods. While it doesn’t have a ton of sustainable shopping, the stores it does have are definitely worth checking out, as well as the delicious restaurants.

 

Find everything:

 

Also check out everything I packed for our trip.

 

What Eco-Influencers Eat

found in eating | 12

What is a sustainable diet? I’ve teamed up with other members of Ethical Writers & Creatives to share what we eat in a typical day and why.

The video above ^ shows what I ate on a day of healthy, home-cooked meals.

Morning

My day started as it always does with a cup of tea. Tea is a must-have for me and I drink at least one cup a day.

For breakfast most days I’ll have oats or muesli with fruit. I usually use oat milk but our grocery store was unfortunately out of stock, so this week we had rice milk (I always make sure the milk has added calcium though). This muesli has dried fruits but I added a banana as well.

Later in the morning I’ll have a light snack, and we had some delicious clementines which make a perfect snack.

Afternoon

For lunch I’ll often have leftovers from the night before – I like to cook extras so we have enough for lunch the next day. If there aren’t leftovers, this simple sweet potato and crispy kale dish is something I really enjoy in the winter – it’s warm and comforting plus includes seasonal veggies! It’s also really easy to make and just involves roasting sweet potatoes and making kale chips close to when the potatoes are done. You cut the potatoes open, add hummus and top with the baked kale. The potato and hummus are super creamy and the kale chips adds a great texture.

Later in the afternoon I’ll usually have a snack. This might be some nuts, or hummus with veggies or chips (if I didn’t already have hummus for lunch). Sometimes I want something sweet and will have chocolate or if I’m out with friends we’ll usually go for coffee and cake in the afternoon. On this day I had some homemade “peanut butter bites”. These ones are just peanut butter, puffed amaranth, and maple syrup – you can find tons of different recipes for things like this on Pinterest and they can be a great snack, but I wish I had also added chocolate. 😉

Evening

For dinner I usually make a big curry, stew, stir-fry, pasta dish, or “Buddha bowl” like this day. I’ll try to use up what veggies we have around and for this bowl I wanted to use leftover kale (and actually should have made an extra sweet potato for it too). I also added cooked mushrooms to the rice, chopped tomato and red pepper, steamed broccoli, and chickpeas. For a sauce I made a quick sesame sauce based on Minimalist Baker’s tahini dressing.

Finally I’ll often end the day with another cup of tea, I love a peppermint or a herbal blend at night. 🍵

 

I enjoy cooking but often don’t want to spend too much time, so I try to make more simple, healthy dishes. Usually quick and simple for me means pasta and sauce, packaged foods, or going out, but I’m finding more and more delicious healthy dishes that are also easy to make!

 

vegetables
Photo by Peter Wendt on Unsplash

How is my diet sustainable?

I’ve been vegetarian for over 10 years now and follow a mainly plant-based diet which is a big part of sustainable and ethical eating for me. Food was actually where I began my journey (after learning about the cruelty behind factory farming) and made me think more about what I consumed, where it came from, and the greater impact it had.

We are very lucky to have good organic stores in my city (that aren’t crazy expensive) and I buy a lot of our groceries organic, especially produce that uses the most pesticides like the “dirty dozen”. Most people assume I buy organic for health reasons, but I’m actually more concerned about the affects of pesticides on biodiversity and especially how they harm bees, which are so important as pollinators in our food system.

When planning meals I try to incorporate seasonal produce and buy locally-grown when possible. Eating seasonally is not only more sustainable but also more affordable and I enjoy trying new recipes and ways to eat seasonal fruits and veggies.

Some things I’m currently working on are reducing plastic packaging by buying what I can in bulk and I’m also trying to buy fewer pre-made, packaged foods – this not only reduces plastic waste but they’re generally not very healthy, plus a lot of them contain palm oil which I like to avoid due to the deforestation issues caused by palm plantations.

Another important aspect of a sustainable diet to me is food waste and I try to only buy what I know will get used/eaten. Something that I’ve found incredibly helpful is having a small fridge which seems common in Europe but not what I’m used to in North America. With a small fridge you can see everything and remember to use it, plus you can’t over-buy because there isn’t space for it. We almost never have to throw any food out which I’m really happy about.

photo: Dennis Wilhelms www.denniswilhelms.com

With any diet changes and shifting to more conscious eating, I think it’s really important to take it in small steps and not worry about being “perfect”. Food is such a huge part of our daily lives and I’ve found focusing on one thing at a time and slowly building on that to be really helpful.

So that’s how I eat, but there are many different approaches to a sustainable diet. See what these other eco bloggers and content creators eat:

Alden from EcoCult

Kathryn from Going Zero Waste

Jen from Honestly Modern

Leah from StyleWise

Florine from The Wasted Blog

Cait from World Threads Traveler

Chloé from Conscious by Chloé

Holly from Leotie Lovely

Renee from Model4GreenLiving

Faye of Sustaining Life

 

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