Research and Reliable Information

On youtube and social media I try to share how I live more consciously, but the part of my life you don’t see is the hours and hours I spend researching – looking into brands, reading studies, and catching up on the latest sustainable fashion news and blog posts. When I went to school for fashion design, I even wrote my thesis on slow fashion, and yet I always feel like I still don’t have enough information. As someone who still feels frustrated even with being able to dedicate a lot of time to research, I totally understand how difficult it can be for someone who doesn’t have that time to spend but still wants reliable information.

I was inspired to write this post after receiving this question from Kara on a recent video:

“I would love to hear your thoughts on how to find reliable information online for people trying to live zero waste/ sustainable lifestyles. It seems to me that a lot of people re-post content that they read on someone else’s blog (or many other blogs), without independently researching whatever topic they’re discussing… Are there organizations that cull and publish verified data relevant to zero waste alternatives? Or any organization that helps consumers decide which of several different choices is least harmful to the environment? It’s important to me that if I’m making such concerted efforts to do no harm, that my choices be backed by evidence!”

First, in response to your question, Kara, it’s really awesome that you care about evidence and verified data! There’s a lot of false and unsubstantiated information so it’s important to be skeptical, but the short answer is no, there isn’t a way to easily get verified data. There is both too much and not enough information, plus a lot of biased perspectives (including my own).

There are some things that can help though!

Project Just is a platform I really recommend for researching clothing brands. They compile information from the brand itself, from news reports, and from reports from organizations like Clean Clothes Campaign to give you a snapshot of the brand with links so you can do your own research.

There are also platforms like the EWG Skindeep where you can research beauty products and ingredients but it has it’s faults and criticisms. There are rating sites like Good On You,  GoodGuide or Ethical Consumer, but you need to look into exactly what their ratings are based on in order to make sure they align with what you’re looking for. Ratings are also very difficult, because we each have different priorities and it’s unlikely the ratings weigh different things the same way you would. These can still be good resources and places to start from, but all of the sites I’ve found have their own pros and cons.

One resource that I definitely recommend for sustainable fashion information is Copenhagen Fashion Summit’s Pulse of the Industry Report. It includes a lot of information from studies, surveys, brands, and reports (you can also get more info in the references too). They will apparently also be updating it yearly, which is really wonderful – not only because it means that we can see changes over time, but also because we’ll have more current information.

In terms of making sure information is reliable, when reading a blog post or news article there should be links to facts and sources. Follow these links back as far as they go (like you mentioned this unfortunately might be through multiple websites); if you can’t get to the source or the source doesn’t seem reliable, try searching for other sources for more information. Ideally you want to find a credible news source or study. Sometimes you’ll come up empty handed, though; for example, I ran into this when researching the “fact” that “fashion is the 2nd most polluting industry in the world” – I tried checking and tracing this multiple times and never could find a proper source. Alden Wicker did even further research in her piece for Racked, We Have No Idea How Bad Fashion Actually Is for the Environment and found no actual studies proving this and yet this “fact” is everywhere.

Another issue is that stats and facts are always changing. Some things I learned in school 4-5 years ago are now completely different: there’s new technology, and also totally new issues- microfibre pollution for example wasn’t discussed at all a few years ago – so it’s really difficult to find resources that are updated.

I think there is always an element of gut-feeling and trust, though. When reading through a brand’s information, try to think about what they’re not saying. Vague and very general statements like “we care about our environment” I always see as a red flag. The brands I trust are those who are transparent, don’t seem like they’re trying to hide anything, are happy to answer questions, and will also admit that there are things they can improve.

As content creators, I think we can all do a better job of fact-checking, but I also understand why information gets relayed from blog to blog. It already takes so much more work to write a post about “5 eco-friendly products” than it does to write a more traditional fashion blog post like “5 lipstick colours for fall”. The conscious bloggers I know are all creating content because it’s something they believe in, and want to advocate for more conscious consumption and lifestyles. The majority do it in their spare time for next to no compensation, and no one has endless time or teams of people to research and fact-check everything. But more so than that, there is a severe lack of studies and information to reference in the first place. Fashion in particular is often not taken seriously as a sustainability issue; it’s seen as something frivolous, and brands have also worked hard to keep people unaware of how their clothes are made.

So what can you do as a consumer who wants more information?
  • Look for articles or studies from reputable organizations.
  • Trace back source links.
  • Ask yourself “why was this written?” – is it just to promote a product or is it to provide helpful information?
  • Assess a company’s transparency and ask them questions. (I have a video about researching brands)
  • Look for trustworthy bloggers and content creators – I really recommend Ethical Writers & Creatives, a lot of the members are incredibly knowledgeable, passionate, and put a ton of research into their work.
  • Finally, try your best, and support others who are also trying their best, but remember that no one is perfect and that’s ok.

The industry is changing; there’s always new information and hopefully with a growing interest in more sustainable consumption and lifestyles, that also means that over time, we’ll have more research and studies available. It’s a lifelong journey, though, and all we can do is keep learning and trying to improve.


Low Waste Bathroom Swaps

found in Beauty, low waste 28

Some of the changes I’ve made to reduce waste with my care and hygiene products.

I now use:

  • Bamboo toothbrush
  • Toothpaste tabs
  • Concentrated mouthwash – you use a few drops in water
  • Menstrual cup – Read my post about switching to a menstrual cup
  • Washable menstrual pads – I have a couple thin liners made from hemp and organic cotton
  • Glass nail file
  • Peel-off nail polish – I like using Little Ondine
  • Cream Deodorant – my DIY recipe 
  • Face/body oils – I’ve liked using jojoba, argan, and sweet almond on my face and I use sweet almond as a body moisturizer (here’s a really helpful video about choosing face oils for your skin)
  • Washable cotton/makeup remover pads – I crocheted my own from organic cotton yarn
  • Shampoo bar
  • Bar soap
  • Safety razor


What product swaps have you made?



Selva Beat magazine and on Instagram

Today on SB | The ultimate guide to #PalmOilFree dog treats. Bone appétit! 🐕

A post shared by Selva Beat (@selvabeat) on

Selva Beat is a sustainability-focused lifestyle magazine. They have great online content with a focus on palm oil free and vegan products, beauty, culture, food, and activism, plus fun graphics and images.



Elim Chu on Instagram

Elim is a stylist based in Vancouver Canada. She shares a lot of secondhand, vintage, and conscious brand inspo.



Here Today, Here Tomorrow brand/store and on Instagram

Meeting with our amazing knitters in Nepal.

A post shared by Here Today Here Tomorrow (@htht_shopstudio) on

HTHT holds a special place in my heart, because it was one of the first slow fashion companies I discovered when I was looking to see if better fashion brands were really possible. They have their own line of fair trade clothes and accessories, including hand-knit pieces and artisan textiles.



My love of Linen

Linen is an amazing fabric: it’s not only wonderful to wear, but is also the oldest known fibre, as well as one of the most sustainable!

Linen comes from the flax plant. The plants go through a process called “retting” to help separate the fibres. Flax is a bast fibre, which means that the structure is basically a bunch of long fibres inside of a thicker tube. The retting breaks down the outside and the “glue” holding the fibres together, which then allows the fibres to be separated, spun, and woven or knit.

Linen is absorbent, breathable, and stronger than cotton. The fibres are porous, and it’s great at keeping you cool in the summer but it can also be insulating in colder temperatures. It’s not very elastic, though, and is known for holding wrinkles.

I love linen because…

it gets better with use, becoming softer and silkier over time. It can be crisp and stiff or have a beautiful drape, and typically is woven with that signature linen texture. It also has a natural luster, which makes it more dimensional. While the wrinkles are seen as a downside for most people, I actually love the look of worn linen; the only pieces I avoid are tight-fitting skirts or dresses where you get a large straight crease across the front after sitting. The feeling of linen is lovely, the texture and softness is unique, and the fact that it just gets better with age makes me want to hang on to my linen pieces forever.

Why linen is so sustainable
  • Growing flax requires less water than cotton.
  • There is very little waste with flax; other part of the plant, like the seeds, can be used to produce linseed oil or flax seeds for consumption.
  • Linen typically requires fewer pesticides, herbicides and fungicides than cotton. They are still used, but you can avoid this by looking for organic linen!
  • The durability of linen means it lasts longer than other materials.

Hemp is also very similar to linen with a lot of the same benefits.

Some cons
  • The process to make linen takes more time and work, which generally makes it more expensive.
  • Organic linen can be difficult to find, although according to Bead & Reel, “linen produced in China has been grown with agro-chemicals and the processing is also higher impact, whereas European and Japanese linen is produced in more natural and low impact methods… you can also feel confident that good quality linen from European or Japanese mills is a good sustainable choice”.
  • Due to the lack of elasticity of the fibres, they can break along permanent creases over time. In particular, this is something to be mindful of with respect to areas that are constantly bent or creased, such as where the collar of a shirt folds down.
  • The wrinkling can be a con, but I think you just need to be mindful of the kind of garments you choose.
linen tee and skirt
Where to find linen clothing

My skirt is from NotPerfectLinen*, who make all of their clothes from local linen in a family factory in Lithuania. The t-shirt is from Lanius, a company that uses organic linen.

Linen also is wonderful for home textiles; I’m currently saving up to invest in some linen bedding!

Are you a fan of linen?

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

Community Story – Rainy Days

found in Community 2

This was written for you by Maggs Inzaghi


Back in the 80’s my home town used to be rainy and chilly by the end of the summer, my neighborhood was at the edge of the city surrounded by coffee planters at top of a cute little hill. Now we got two malls, a hospital and big office buildings.

I was a very quiet girl, I enjoyed stay in doors with my coloring books and Barbie dolls, but from time to time my grandma pushed me outside to play. She set a patch work blanket (sew by her) under the apricot tree so I can take my Barbie dolls camping.

Every other week grandma’s daughters came to visit, I remember my cousins and I were about 4 or 5 years old, that was a rainy afternoon but it stopped during the visit. So I told my cousins I wanted them to see my pool in the garden, it was a big aluminum tub were my grandma collected rain water for the plants. So this little devil climbed to my shoulder to whisper to my ear “do bad things” and I encouraged Edith and Karla to jump in the water, of course I just watched. I guess the water was cold because they yelled at first, then we started laughing until someone inside the house wondered where we were.

Edith’s mom almost fainted, Karla’s parents got super upset because she didn’t remove her shoes and my grandma just laughed and asked “why did you do that to them?”. My grandma offered some of my clothes so the girls could change and leave, also packed a big bouquet of herbs to each one so they could take a hot herbal bath at home to prevent a cold.


Grandma’s Remedy

The bouquet had rosemary, rue, peppermint and basil; it has to be boiled using about 2 liters of water adding a cinnamon stick, and then throw it into the tub adding some more warm water, trying to make a steamy bath. My grandma said that the natural scents and steam will act on the lungs and throat and help to sleep.

After one of those herbal baths, my grandma sent me straight to bed under a bunch of covers. I really don’t know what’s on that special herb combo but it worked in some way, it was very relaxing and definitely helped me to breathe when I was sick.

Don’t get me wrong, she was pro science, vaccines and antibiotics; she trusted doctors eyes closed but she believed that there’s always a way to prevent major illness by acting fast. She was never too tired to make a tea for a stomachache or a sore throat, also she knew when that wasn’t enough and took us to the hospital not without saying “if only you had worn a jacket”.

I challenge you to look deep into your memories and bring back those pieces of knowledge that you won’t find online and that bring us comfort and heal our bodies plus our spirits.



How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe with Colour

There’s a common misconception that capsule wardrobes need to be neutral coloured. Many examples are all neutrals or have a single accent colour but this doesn’t mean your capsule has to be white/grey/black as well. This misconception is also part of the confusion of minimalism as an aesthetic vs a lifestyle – you don’t need to look like a minimalist to live minimally.

My main tips for adding colour to your capsule wardrobe are:

  1. Keep colour to one area, ie. tops. You can have whatever colours you want because you won’t be wearing them together.
  2. Use prints that combine your colours in other areas of your wardrobe. This way you can wear those pieces with all the different colours.
  3. Design your capsule around a colour palette (Pinterest is great for inspo) and assign colours that work well to different areas, unless you prefer monochromatic outfits.
  4. Wear your favourite colours! The whole point of a capsule wardrobe is regularly wearing the pieces you love and feel good in, so your focus should be on how to make your favourite pieces work well instead of having a really cohesive colour scheme. It doesn’t matter if it looks pretty sitting together on the rack, only the pieces you actually wear together need to work well with each other.


If you love colour and that’s been holding you back from trying a capsule wardrobe, I really encourage you to challenge yourself to try it out! You can always go back or adapt things if it’s not working for you.


Do you have a colourful capsule wardrobe?


Brand Review: Underprotection

Underprotection is a Danish lingerie, lounge, and swimwear brand. They use materials like organic cotton, recycled polyester, bamboo, and lyocell. The products are made in a Fair Wear Foundation factory in India.

I needed a new swim suit and was searching for something cute, that I could actually swim in, with decent coverage (can’t do those super cheeky bottoms). Initially I was looking for a one-piece but wanted a brand I could try on, since I have a long torso and it’s sometimes hard to find swimsuits that fit. This definitely limits options, but I found a local store that carried Underprotection and went to try on suits. Unfortunately, they only had one style and it wasn’t what I was looking for, but I tried it on anyways to at least get a sense of their fit. After looking at their other styles online, I instead decided to get one of their two piece suits and having tried on the other suit, I knew I likely needed a S top and M bottom. The pieces I wanted weren’t available in my size in a matching set but, I’m happy with the top and bottom being different colours.

The fit is pretty good, although the top is a little tight. I probably should have actually gone with a size M top, but the zipper on the front makes the fit more flexible- it’s very comfortable unzipped a little and secure for swimming when zipped up. The material is recycled polyester (from bottles and other plastics), and it’s thin but double-layered and quite soft (no cup inserts though, if that’s something you like). I’ve only worn it once, so I’m not sure how it will hold up over time. However, the construction is not the best; the stitching on the top is wobbly and uneven in areas, and in a couple spots the elastic doesn’t lie flat. It won’t affect the performance, just aesthetically, it isn’t as nice. In comparison, the bras don’t seem to have any sewing issues, so it might just be that the factory isn’t as comfortable working with swimwear materials. I’d be disappointed if I had paid full price, but having gotten both pieces on sale, I don’t mind as much the few sewing issues.

not the best sewing

Since I was ordering the swimsuit and also needed some more underwear, I decided to pick up a few other pieces as well. I ended up getting their Naomi bra and briefs in purple, and the Kira bra in nude. They have some really cute bralettes and soft-cup bras with different materials and styles. The sizing is difficult though, because everything is sized XS-L. Based on their size guide I could be an S or M, but I went with M (In both the bra and briefs) because I can always take pieces in a bit if needed. The size M fits fairly well, the band and straps are both adjustable. I can see maybe needing to take in the bands a bit though as the bras stretch out. The Naomi style does have more coverage with the cups so I probably could have sized down without any issues, but overall the bras are a decent fit and comfortable for such basic sizing. However, because the sizes are so simple I would recommend seeing if you can try their bras on somewhere before ordering.

Naomi bra and briefs
Kira bra

The Naomi set is mainly made from lyocell while the Kira bra is recycled polyester lace. Something that was surprising, is both bras have plastic boning on the sides. It’s nicely encased in soft fabric but typically styles like this don’t have boning, and it wasn’t mentioned in the item description. I found the website in general to be lacking in good photos of the pieces to see both sides and the details, and their item descriptions could be a lot better. The material description is just for a base fabric, and they don’t mention things like the elastics, hardware, or boning and casing materials.

inside with boning casing

If you’re looking for soft fabric bras and bralettes (no under-wire) they have some really cute styles and nice materials (*See updates), although the sizing can be challenging especially if you’re ordering online. I don’t think I would get another swimsuit from them, however; because of the sewing issues mentioned above, I’d try a different brand for swimwear.

Find more underwear and swimwear brands in the directory, and I also have a video about sustainable underwear.

UPDATE: After only about 3 months the elastic/trim on the underwear is very disappointingly fraying and coming apart and the purple bra is also having quality issues. I also ordered a velvet body suit from them and while the style is really cute the fit/cut is weird. The bust darts are way too high and the crotch snaps are very far back making it awkward to wear. I would definitely recommend trying on Underprotection garments and thoroughly inspecting for fabric/trim quality and construction before purchasing.

2nd UPDATE: After wearing the swimsuit only a few times the stitching on the bottoms is coming apart along the seams exposing the elastic. Overall the quality has been very disappointing.

Green Köln

found in travel 4

I’ve lived in Cologne, Germany for the last couple years. It’s not really a big travel destination unless you’re coming to see the Dom or for Karneval but it has some great places for conscious fashion and veg food! Here are some of my favourites:


Fairfitters – Lovely store with lots of men’s and women’s clothes and accessories.

Green Guerillas – Selection of men’s and women’s casual wear, lots of tees and basics.

Kiss the Inuit – Another option for men’s and women’s casual wear.

Lanius – Cologne label with a few stories around the city.

ShipSheip – Little boutique carrying some men’s and womanswear from their own line, as well as from Dedicated, Jungle Folk, rentals from Kleiderrebell, and accessories.


KattaKatta – Consignment store with an often over-stuffed selection of unique pieces.

Polyestershock – Cute vintage boutique with some lovely items – plus they do alternations!

Vintage & Rags – Large selection of men’s and women’s vintage clothes and accessories.

Vintage Emde – Curated vintage selection with lots of staples and unique pieces.

Kleiderei – A clothing rental store where with your monthly membership you can borrow clothes, like a library! (can also buy clothes)



Bunte Burger


Edelgrün – I couldn’t ask for anything more. This place has a great selection of delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes with a focus on healthy, whole foods and sustainability (bring your own takeaway containers and they’ll give you a discount!)

Bunte Burger – Loaded vegan burgers with lots of different combinations. They have a location in Ehrenfeld, but also food trucks at events and around the city.

MeiWok – Salad, soup, SE Asian curry, stir-fry, noodle, and rice dishes, plus a selection of healthy smoothies and juices. I typically go with the daily special and haven’t yet been disappointed.

Cafe Hibiskus – Great for afternoon coffee and a slice of vegan cake.

485 Grad – Italian pizza place, not totally veg like the others but they have a couple really delicious vegan pizzas.

Chum Chay – Vegetarian Vietnamese food, really cute place with an lovely outdoor courtyard in summer and flavourful dishes.

and finally…

Eisfeld – Amazing ice cream, always with some vegan options. My favourite is apple if they have it.

Find everything mentioned and more…


Menstrual Cups are a Period-Changer

I’m late to the menstrual cup game; I had heard about them for quite a while before I actually tried one out. It’s too bad I waited so long, though, because I’m never going back!


Why I love using a menstrual cup:

1. The biggest personal benefit for me is how long you can leave them in (up to 12 hours!), so I don’t have to worry about changing it during the day.

2. It’s very sustainable – using a menstrual cup means a zero waste period. Every month menstruating women throw away pads, tampons, applicators, plastic and paper packaging. Using a menstrual cup cuts out all this trash.

3. They save money. While menstrual cups are more expensive up front (they seem to range from about $20-$40), you actually save a lot of money if you add up everything you would otherwise spend on other kinds of period products.

4. Tampons may contain toxins. There’s debate and not much research into whether tampons contain things like dioxins or pesticides, so I’d rather play it safe.

5. Less clutter. I love being able to minimize the things I own, so not having boxes in the bathroom or tampons floating around my purse is wonderful.

I decided to get the OrganiCup, both because I love the minimal and recycled paper packaging and organic cotton bag (it’s also certified vegan), and also because based on my research, it seemed like a good firmness and size to try as a beginner.


How to choose a menstrual cup

I did a lot of research beforehand and watched/read different cup reviews online. I really recommend the Youtube channel Precious Star Pads; she has a ton of great information and reviews.

Watch her How to choose your first menstrual cup video. (She also did a review of the OrganiCup)

You’ll want to be mindful of:

  • size – the height of your cervix, your flow, and whether or not you’ve given birth can all affect the size you’ll need
  • firmness – firmer cups are easier to open but can be uncomfortable and press on the bladder, while softer cups might get squished and unseal if you have strong pelvic muscles


Using a menstrual cup

It can definitely take some practice to get used to inserting and removing a menstrual cup. Don’t give up if it doesn’t work right away; it took me at least a couple cycles before I really felt comfortable using it. To insert the cup, it needs to be folded (most manufacturers recommend a C-fold or “punch down” fold, but there are also others). After the cup is inserted, it should unfold – it’s good to check that it has unfolded properly by running your finger around the outside of it.

Again Precious Star Pads has a helpful video on tips for inserting cups.

Removing the cup can be difficult at first – the first time I used one, I panicked a bit when it wouldn’t easily come out. The trick I found is to use your muscles to help push it down and squeeze it with your fingers to break the seal. I have high cervix so I also really like the stretchy stem on the OrganiCup which helps with removal.

Finally you’ll want to sanitize your cup between cycles by boiling it. While there has been a confirmed case of TSS with a menstrual cup there is not at all high risk, and you also have a risk using tampons.


For me, menstrual cups are the perfect option for a green period. Have you tried them?


UPDATE: OrganiCup reached out after seeing this post offering a promo code, if you’d like to try it out use MYGREENCLOSET for free shipping!


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