Would you wear a borrowed garment?

Renting evening and bridal wear is quite common but what about clothes for everyday life? You’ve maybe borrowed a garment from a friend or a sibling but would you do the same from a company? With the tons of garments ending up in landfills do we perhaps need to reconsider ownership of clothing?

When I first heard of clothing libraries and other renting services a few years ago, I thought it was a great idea but couldn’t really see myself using them. Now that I understand how these services could help decrease the amount of rarely used garments at the back of our closets I’m willing to reconsider. There is still a part of me that s a bit hesitant. Maybe it’s because I’m very clumsy at times and I’m worried about ruining the garment while I’m renting it. It probably sound very crazy but you haven’t seen the oily red sauces I eat and stains they cause. If I think about it rationally though, these companies have thought about tomato sauce and turmeric stains and have policies for them.

Lately I’ve been really trying to pay attention to the garments I own and how often I use them. My goal is to have a closet that has an eclectic mix of clothes that are constantly in use. My logic is if I can mix and match and get a variety of combinations, I don’t need to own so many pieces. There are a few situations where I could see myself using these renting services; business meetings (not something currently happening in my life but you know, planning for my future self) and funerals. If I felt I needed to dress in a more corporate way, I could rent the suite, instead of buying one that would most likely get  shunned to the back of my closet. That’s what’s happened to the few black garments I have, the ones I  usually refer to as my funeral attire because funerals are the only place you’ll see me in head to toe black. These clothes don’t fit me that great and are taking up space in my already tiny closet. So maybe I should pass them on to someone who really likes wearing black and the next time there’s a funeral, I’ll rent my outfit?

So I wanna hear your thoughts on this, do you often borrow clothes from loved ones? Have you used any clothing libraries or similar services? And if so, how did you find that experience? Tips for clothing libraries in Helsinki are also welcome!

 


YouTube faves right now – Part 3

 

Teela Cunningham
I’m usually very impatient with photoshop and illustrator tutorials but I find Teela’s tutorials very helpful.

 

Avant-Garde Vegan
One of the most amazing vegan food youtube channels out there. This is the channel I send to people after we’ve had the “vegan food is so boring” discussion. I hope Gaz starts a restaurant soon!

 

Screen Prism
I only recently became aware of the term video essay. I can’t remember how I found the Screen Prism channel but I’ve watched a lot of episodes since finding it. I really like the way they analyse movies and tv shows and I sometimes send links  to friends so we can discuss the episodes.

 

Never Too Small
There’s a lot of channels dedicated to tiny houses and van living but very few about small apartments. This channel shows some incredibly well designed homes with clever use of the small space. After an episode I usually end up on the real estate websites where my dreams are instantly crushed when I’m reminded just how expensive it is to buy an apartment in Helsinki. But I’ll keep on dreaming!

Te


The collection of collections – Hallwyl Museum

When I was preparing for my summer in Stockholm I made a list with all the castles and museums I was going to visit. Six weeks into my stay I’ve only visited two. One thing I can blame this on is the heatwave but I’ve also experienced a lost interest in walking around castles this summer. I’m not quite sure what’s going on but I’ll have to revisit the subject when I get back to Helsinki.
One place I visited pretty early on is the Hallwyl Museum. I had seen some pictures of the interior on social media and I knew it used to be someone’s home so I was a bit curious. I’m really glad I paid for the guided tour, I got a lot more information than if I had been walking around by myself (I sometimes get lazy with reading the descriptions). There was only three of us on the tour so we got to see more spaces than if we had been a larger group. The rooms are preserved in their original state and give you a glimpse of how the super wealthy and forward thinking lived during that era.
The rooms are as one would expect, heavily decorated and filled with beautiful artefacts.The most impressive thing to me however, is the collections and the meticulous documentation of those collections. Wilhelmina von Hallwyl who did most of the collecting, knew early on that she wanted her home to eventually become a museum. She had every item in the house (as well as the house itself) catalogued. Not only is there an image and a thorough description of every item but there’s stories and personal anecdotes as well. I was drooling over her jewellery collection, there were so many pieces in it I would love to wear.
I’ve never really been a collector of anything, I’ve moved so many times that I’m very picky of the things I own. Maybe that’s why I was so impressed by this avid collector. If you’re ever in Stockholm and are maybe a Downton Abbey fan, I would recommend you to visit this museum.


Ceremonial Blooms

When I visited the Alppiruusupuisto last summer, I vowed to visit the park earlier this year so I could see all the flowers in full bloom. So when the images from the park started showing up in my insta feed I got on a bus towards Haaga. Is it kinda lame? Maybe. But you guys should know by now that if there’s a concentration of colourful flowers in one place, I must go there.

I remember this day quite clearly. I had just handed in a school assignment that had been the cause for several sleepless nights (great course but I hate writing essays!), it was the first of June and weather was perfect so seeing all these flowers almost felt like a ceremonial start of the summer season.

 


Copycat, copyright and the coveting of ideas

Last fall I did a school project where our topic was positivity. It’s a very big and philosophical subject for a conceptual design course but we tackled it the best we could in the limited amount of time we had. One subject that came up early in the process was motivational Pinterest quotes. It was fascinating to see how we all interpreted them differently and how some perceived them to be infuriating rather than inspiring. I’ve noticed that I now see positive quotes in a different light after that project.

There’s one quote (more of a creative tip really) that I came across on Pinterest a while ago that really made me think, “Do not covet your ideas”. After a bit of googling I found out that it’s from a book by Paul Arden.  It probably caught my eye because I was thinking about copyright a lot at the time and this quote was somehow contradicting my instinctual need to protect my work. The core of the chapter about coveting ideas goes something like this:

The problem with hoarding is you end up living off your reserves. Eventually you’ll become stale. If you give away everything you have, you are left with nothing. This forces you to look, to be aware, to replenish.
Somehow the more you give away the more comes back to you.
– Paul Arden

I read the book and while a lot of the content felt specific to marketing and advertising I think it was still worth reading. The do not covet your ideas chapter now makes more sense. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t protect your work and read up on copyright laws. These are really important things and if you have business even more so. But I started wondering if my need to protect my ideas stemmed from the fear  that I could somehow run out of ideas. I’m really trying to be conscious of the role fear plays in my decision making, especially the times when fear stops you from moving forward. So if you’re like me and you don’t want fear to stop you from developing, there might be a point in sharing or publishing your creations. If someone steals it then you’ll just have to make new and better stuff. By continuing to create you’re also improving your skills and evolving as a creator.

So with that in mind I’m now publishing some patterns I made for a surface design course I had earlier this year. I’m so happy I got to participate and learn more about repeats and techniques. And now that I’ve published these, I’ll have to design some new and even better patterns!

 


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

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

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.

 

 


@