Approaching Sustainability

Date : 16/07/2018
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Approaching Sustainability

Talking about sustainability (especially in fashion) feels at times as an impossible task. It’s such a big and complicated issue and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless as an individual. However, giving up and saying there nothing we can do is simply not an option so I think the best way of tackling a giant of an issue like this is to find a place to start.

Reduce, Reuse, Repair, recycle. I want you to memorise that. I want you to remember these words the next time you feel like you have nothing to wear, the next time you’re going shopping or emptying out your closet. The goal is to think about the clothes you own and how you buy and wear them. It’s about taking the time to figure out what you actually need and use and giving some thought to where those garments came from. Reducing for example doesn’t only mean reducing the number of garments, it can also mean reducing the amount of ill fitting garments or reducing the number of bad quality garments in your closet.

I’ve been reducing the amount of things I own for some years now but even I occasionally struggle with  impulse purchases and garments that I dub the best second hand find ever in the fitting room but somehow don’t fit two weeks later. I’m still trying to figure out what is the correct way to dispose of garments that are beyond repair and if boycotting fast fashion is the best way to help people working in the factories. What I’m saying is, it’s a learning process and changing habits takes time but like with most transitions in life you have to start somewhere!


A rainbow of gems

Category : Inspiration
Date : 06/07/2018
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A rainbow of gems

When I visited the Munich Residence, I also visited the treasury out of pure curiosity. There was all kinds of artefacts, from jewellery to sculptures. Being a lover of gemstones however, it was the crowns and jewellery with colourful stones that caught my eye rather than the ones with perfect cut diamonds. It was a reminder that there truly is a wide range of coloured gemstones in nature and I started thinking that I have to design jewellery at some point in my life.




YouTube faves right now – Part 2

Category : Inspiration
Date : 02/05/2018
Comments :
YouTube faves right now – Part 2

Cecile Emeke

If you haven’t watched Cecile’s Strolling series, go watch it now! I think she’s done it in like 6 different countries. I remember watching them a few years ago and being so moved by these stories. I could relate to so many of them and it also gave me a lot to think about my own identity in the African diaspora. And for all my feminist out there you have to watch this poem!

 

Jenny Mustard

I’m not a minimalist like Jenny but I find her aesthetic quite soothing.

 

Rachel Ama

My new favourite vegan food channel. She’s got me craving plantain!

 

Dyland Magastar

I don’t have a driving license and I have no plans on getting one yet I’m obsessed with watching these van life stories.

 

 


The True Cost

Date : 27/04/2018
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The True Cost

As fashion revolution week draws to an end I would like to remind you of this great documentary from a few years ago that I think everyone should watch, The True Cost. It shows the devastating truth behind fast fashion. I recently watched it in a Sustainable Fashion class and now I’m trying to figure out what I can do to change this industry. The documentary is quite heavy so  I suggest that you watch it with someone so you can discuss it afterwards.

I want to write more about sustainable fashion and what we can do as consumers (and designers) to change the industry. Sustainability is an incredibly complex subject and I’m definitely no expert but I’m trying to live by the motto “When you know better, do better” and I’m hoping that by sharing what I’ve learned so far can help you make more sustainable purchases. I’ll be putting whatever I write on the subject under a new category, Understanding Sustainable Fashion. You can still take part in Fashion Revolution week, see the links below.

More about the documentary https://truecostmovie.com/
Fashion Revolution https://www.fashionrevolution.org/


The fairytale castle on the hill

Category : Travel
Date : 18/04/2018
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The fairytale castle on the hill

When our professor told us about the Ispo fair, I was pretty sure I was not going to be able to afford the trip to Munich. I wasn’t that interested in a sportswear fair but on the other hand I desperately needed a change of scenery. Out of pure curiosity I started looking into Munich and the touristy things I could do in the city and its surroundings. I think once I saw the pictures of Neuschwanstein, I knew I had to find a way to make this trip happen.

I was going back and forth for a while whether to go to the castle by myself or try to find an affordable guided tour. I found this great step by step guide on how to get there but I was still a bit hesitant. In the end my budget made the decision for me and I simply had to get over the fear of taking the wrong train and getting lost somewhere in Bavaria. In reality it wasn’t so complicated, I reserved my ticket a week before my trip and two days before my castle visit, I went to the train station and with a brochure and literally said “I want a train ticket to this castle on Tuesday” and voila it was done.

When I got there and was sitting in the cold waiting for my group to be allowed to enter, I was starting to wonder if all this effort was worth it. Sure, the castle is beautiful on the outside too, it’s a castle on a hill after all. But I was cold and hungry and annoyed that you’re not allowed to take photos inside. Then we entered the castle and it all made sense. I was glad I was here during the low season, there was only about 20 of us ( the guide said it’s usually groups of 60) so there was more space for us. You see every part of the castle is heavily decorated, I’ve seen a couple of castles in my life but nothing like this. Maybe it’s because the style is quite different from what I’ve seen before. You really felt like you were in som medieval fairy tale castle. I could try to describe it but I feel I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. I now also understand why you can’t take pictures, there simply wouldn’t be enough time. I know I could have easily spent 3-4 hours in there but now it was limited to about 30 minutes. I wish the tour would have been a little bit longer but I can imagine the queues would be endless during the peak season.

There are downsides of visiting the castle in winter. The hiking trail and bridge were closed and there was no bus from the ticket center due to snow and ice. When you’re waiting for your turn to enter you’re doing it outside in the cold. So wear enough layers. There are other castles and museums in the area that are probably worth a visit. I wanted to be back in Munich before it got too dark so I opted to focus on Neuschwanstein only. It would be great to come back in the summer, maybe on a roadtrip trough Bavaria, hike around the castle and spend some time in the village.

 

Some  parts of the castle are off limits, like this inner court yard.

Even though it was grey January weather, it still felt special to be up here.

This would be a great spot for a picnic!

One of the castles I didn’t vist, Hohenschwangau Catsle. 

When I was waiting for the bus to return to the train station, the sun lit up the castle like it was a closing scene in a disney movie.



Big Magic

Date : 29/03/2018
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Big Magic

As someone who usually describes herself as a slow reader, I’m really glad I’ve picked up a reading habit again. I’ve decided to stop beating myself down for being the person who never knows who’s written the latest it thriller and can only list Jane Austen, when asked about my favourite author (so far the only author that I’ve read more than one book). I’ve discovered that I like reading about people figuring stuff out with a lot of honesty and humour. I really loved Shonda Rhimes’ book Year of Yes and I’ve just finished another great one, Big Magic – Creative living beyond fear by Elizabeth Gilbert.

This book gave me a lot to think about and I think I need to buy it (I usually borrow my books from the city library) so I can go back to certain chapters when that crippling self doubt starts bubbling up. Writing book reports was never something I excelled at  but here are a few things that I thought were great about this book. Firstly I love the way it’s written, it feels like you’re talking to a really good friend and she’s sharing stories and lessons learned over the years. I love the way Gilbert describes inspiration as this magical otherworldly thing but reminds you that in order for that to lead to anything, you need to work work work! There’s something about the encouraging but pragmatic advice that really spoke to me.

The other great thing the author encourages us to so, is to let go of perfection, it often stops you from finishing your work or even worse from ever starting in the first place. I’ve often not published or shown what I was working on because on some level I was afraid of what people might think but also that the work wasn’t good enough. So I’m really going to adopt the done is better than good motto. Because by finishing projects you can move on to the next one and the next one. That’s how you evolve and improve.

One thing Gilbert excellently does in this book is to debunk the whole idea that in order to create something great you have to suffer. I think creating can be a great help when you’re suffering but that pain and suffering should be vital to great work is a myth we need to discuss and tear apart.

Have any of you read this book? I’d like to hear your thoughts.


I should change my mind more often

Category : Style
Date : 22/03/2018
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I should change my mind more often

Up until last winter I only wore skirts and dresses during the summer. I used to joke that my pants are not going anywhere until it’s at least 20 degrees celsius. It probably stems from all those new year’s celebrations in my youth where i was often freezing my ass off. Even though I now live in Southern Finland where it’s not as cold as in Ostrobothnia and the winters in general seem to be getting warmer (ehum, climate change!), that no skirts in winter rule stayed with me. That is until I was confronted with the fact that I was down to three decent pairs of pants I could wear to work and two of them were on the worn and kind of torn side. I didn’t have any money to invest in proper pair of jeans (you know, the well-fitting-thick-denim-fairly-produced kind of jeans) and I rarely find pants second hand, no matter how many pairs I try on. So I was left with the option to forget my “rule” and give winter skirts a go! I bought a purple knitted one and then a blue pencil skirt, two skirt types I had sworn to stay away from because I found them unflattering for my figure. Once I started using these skirts on a regular basis however, I wondered why I hadn’t done it earlier. I even wore a skirt when it was -10 degrees celsius and I didn’t freeze! Ok, a thick pair of tights and a very long winter coat were crucial in this case. So yeah, I’m glad I changed my mind on this self imposed rule!

I found this red skirt a few months back at a second hand store and it’s really become a favourite. I love the big pleats and the deep red colour. It’s a length I probably would have avoided in the past but once you start letting go of ideas of what suits your figure your mind opens up to all kinds of possibilities. Do you have any rules when it comes to clothing? Have you thought about reexamining some of them?

 


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