Day 16 of the sustainable fashion challenge is something I shoukd really do. I plan my meals carefully, I fill up my free time with plans and keep myself challenged and busy in my work but I do not ponder my wardrobe needs! Can I blame it on working in the apparel industry?... majority of my purchases being impulse! This topic is a thinker that I won't figure out today but do commit to making a plan soon!
Day 15... again with the restyle! At first I dread it but then I have fun mixing and matching!... here's an old skirt with a tank top and a new H&M tencel shirt with one of my favorite new necklaces made from Bombay Sapphire liquor bottles!... my Miss Daisy dog approves!
Day 14... about a subject close to my heart... fitting! This is what I do for a living so I am well aware that the most common complaint about why something isn't worn is because of the fit. I have many times bought a cute style only to hate its armhole or sleeve (and have torn out sleeves to reshape and put back in so I could move my arms)! I highly recommend finding a sewing friend or professional and making those clothes fit you!... or. even better take up sewing. If I can do it anyone can!
Day 13 is a fun one, does it give me permission to go shopping?!... Researching sustainable fashion options! I've been doing this over the past few years and committed to only buying sustainable options so I love finding ones I haven't heard of. When I need something new I do a google check of sustainable options and read through the blogs to find a good option. Once I find a brand I like I follow them for sales updates and try to continue to support them. Many sustainable brands are also on Amazon, including PACT which often has their organic socks/underwear on the lightening deals!
To start when I want to get out and shop here's my favorite local Milwaukee area sustainable shopping options:
* Whole Foods - Yes, it's not just for groceries. They have a small section of clothing, including some local brands. Check online for sales, usually around the holidays.
* H&M - This can be overwhelming but look for the labels with the green "Conscious Collection" hangtags. Those are from sustainable options such as organic cotton, tencel or recycled polyester.
* Fyndig - They are in transition now, looking for a new home but I ran into their booth at an event and bought lots of great fashion items I only read about!
* ReSource - I love this new spot of all recycled or eco friendly finds. Lots of great accessories including some from local artists.
Online here are my go to's:
* Fair Indigo - Still local to me, some people from my ex-employer Lands' End, left to start this fair trade company!
* Patagonia - So innovative, been doing it way before every one else.
* Matt & Nat - This was my first sustainable fashion purchase. About 6 years ago was in Texas of all places when I came across a beautiful handbag made from recycled water bottles. I had to have it and still use it to this day and get tons of compliments on it!
Day 12 of the sustainable fashion challenge is a repeat... I am not a fan of repeats, but she's right. I need to mix it up more. So I pondered and pondered... here's what I came up with. Fancy leggings I don't wear much (I'm not fancy!) along with that Milwaukee tee (that makes me laugh because I bought it in Spain!) and a sparkly black fair trade crochet necklace and black tank top... should work for going out to watch the Wisconsin Badgers game tonight!
Day 11 of the Sustainable Fashion Challenge is a fun one! I love to re-purpose. I've made container gardens out of worn out reusable shopping bags, pillows from old flour sacks, wine bags from old plaid shirts and even unraveled a sweater to reuse the yarn! Right now I'm really into t-shirt cutting/mixing up. Here's a work in progress making a new shirt to wear to the upcoming concert using 2 old U2 concert tour shirts (instructions to come after I finish it... still pondering more updates!).
Day 10... halfway through! Today's assignment is a great lesson in sustainable fibers.
Here's a few others I found interesting in my studies...
Sources: Fashion Institute of Technology / Sass Brown, Eco Fashion Talk
Day 9 is not my favorite topic... budgeting. Being a creative type finances really bring me down. I mean I've been there and needed to budget but with our small living we easily stay within our means. I'm naturally frugal; many dog walks have me bringing home finds from the neighbor's trash! When I do shop I'm always on the look out for sales. Here's a few sites that help with that mission:
The Greenbacks Gal - Great reference for all things natural/organic. Get on her newsletter for tips on great deals.
Ebates - You do have to sift through lots of conventional places but they do have sustainable brands such as Nike, Rodale's & Gaiam.
Retail Me Not - I never check out without checking here first for discount codes.
Any others I'm missing?
Day 8 is about mending... a necessary evil! I love sewing but hate hemming, sewing on buttons and all those other boring but necessary skills! I'm even walking around outside with a coat that has 2 buttons in the pocket that fell off so I will complete this assignment and sew them on as soon as I'm done typing!
I love today's suggestions on finding how to's online!.. wish that was an option as I was learning. My learning was from reading several books and was a star home ec student that loved sewing as soon as I leaned how! It was the first thing that clicked and I could do well. So well that against most sane people's advice I studied Apparel Design/Manufacturing in college. Now working as a Technical Designer I tell factories how to sew all day long so I need to sometimes tell myself to sew on that button or adjust that hem and think about those in that factor on the other side of the world following my instructions.
I still do enjoy sewing and keep up with reading on it. Lately I've been pondering taking a few classes or workshops for some inspiration. A few on my dream list are:
Alabama Chanin Workshop - I love what Natalie Chanin created in Alabama, besides beautiful clothing, the community around creating it and bringing back good old made in USA charm.
The Makerie Retreats - I would love to be transported away into the pages of Sweet Paul Magazine... or one of their retreats! I see them crafting it up on instagram and would love to join the party!
Etsy Labs - Somewhere I saw an image of the Etsy offices and it's as awesome looking at I imagined. But what I can't get out of my head is the labs and crafting events!
I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting... if you know of any awesome workshops I should put on my list please share!
I should mention that I am lucky enough to live not terribly far from one of the best sewing teachers on PBS (we went to the same college and studied the same program!), the Sewing with Nancy, Nancy Zieman! Her Sewing Weekend is a lot of fun with some great seminars.
Anyway, back to the boring part of sewing... mending! Here's a recent project of mine on the topic. I don't know why I bought jeans already ripped up. I'm too old for that. I quickly realized I hate having holes in my jeans and patched them up in kind of a quilting manor. I put a purple/pink swirly cotton print and hand stitched with pink thread. I love the pop of colors much more than I liked the breeze of all those holes!
Day 7 is getting tough... I spend my work days surrounded by piles of clothes so getting creative with my closet can be overwhelming... I read the challenge during my mid day workout and immediately dreaded it. Ugh... I'm not the kind of gal to pull out a pretty dress and tone it down for my casual office. I spent a few meetings daydreaming about the contents of my closet and remembered a closet in the basement I haven't addressed... it's a sort of archive of my professional life filled with all sorts of garments I've made or specified and fit!.. I remembered back to one of my favorite places to work early in my career and the few pieces I held onto and may be able to pull off still many many many years later... yes it's a men's safari shirt but if I put it with that cute zipper belt and metal doiley turned moth necklace my aunt made me I can call it a redress!.. this could become addicting!
All 20 Day Sustainable Fashion Challenge Bowling Ball Buell Buttons Car Chargepoint Earrings Electric Family Fermentation Friends Harley-Davidson Japan Jewelry Kefir Kombucha Milwaukee Motorcycle Nissan Leaf North Carolina Recycle Recycling Sewing Slow Fashion Sustainability Tea U2 Vintage Wedding