A Walk in the Park with Barbara Munsel

Favorite DressThe word is out : I’m totally in love with the elegant, timeless style of Mrs. Zero-Waste-Method : Barbara Munsel.

I had a lovely talk with the lady and a walk in the park with one of her beautiful designs of this wintercollection : The winered T-shirt dress.

I styled it myself and as you can see : Fair clothes aren’t dull at all 😉

A walk in the park with Barbara

T-shirt Dress:  Barbara Munsel Faux fur : Essentiel Belt : Atelier AnVertSoie Shoes : Atelier do Sapato
T-shirt Dress: Barbara Munsel
Faux fur : Essentiel
Belt : Atelier AnVertSoie
Shoes : Atelier do Sapato

Information about the Fairness : 

As you read in my article how do I know that my favorite label cares it is possible for us, as consumers,  to find out more information about brands. Unfortunately not every brand is already rated or represented in fair fashion apps (like Talking Dress, Rank a Brand, Milieucentraal, Fair Fashion app, for links click here) So in that case I’ll do my very best to give you all the information that I have. It could be that I present to you labels who aren’t full eco and fair but I’m a positive little lady, when they are making an effort, I think it’s worth mentioning!

About the items in the pictures : 

You can find Barbara Munsel in the Fairness-Shopping Guide : Talking Dress 

Essentiel is designed in Belgium and produced in Europe (Info)

Atelier Anvertsoie is designed in Belgium and produced in Portugal

Atelier do Sapato is designed and produced in Portugal

Pictures by Evy Waegeneire


Zero Waste Fashion : Interview with Barbara Munsel

Barbara's favorite Kimono Jacket of the Wintercollection 2014-2015!
Barbara’s favorite Kimono Jacket from the Winter Collection 2014-2015

A Designer with a beautiful Heart

As an (not so secret anymore) admirer of Barbara Munsels work, I see it as my duty to spread her Fashionlove with you! 

 Barbara Munsel does – as a winner of the Ethical Fashion Award in 2011 – a very good job presenting an ethical fashion line by using the zero-waste method. This method implies the use of reclaimed fabrics in her collections as well as high-end, prêt-á-porter end of roll fabrics.  She also incorporates antique and reclaimed fabrics and ecological materials such as natural and organic fabrics which she hand prints with water-based inks on a regular basis.

What are you -as a designer- the most proud of?

People wearing my designs – boutiques buying my collection – to be asked for interviews 🙂

What is your personal definition of fair clothing? Where lies your accent?

Paying a fair wage to the actual producers and giving the customers honest information about the production of their clothes.

Which should be -in your opinion- the key ingredients for any designer when making an ethical fashion line?

The key concepts in thinking about ethical fashion should definitely be: Non-selfish – transparant – awareness of waste – collaborate – respecting people and nature.

How did you personally become fascinated by ethical fashion?                          

Starting as a designer with no budget and producing a collection from scratch yourself, you quickly understand what ethical means…It’s really labor-intensive to make a fine collection and it’s in my opinion not quite possible to do that kind of work in a bad working environment.

For those reasons, I will never allow my clothing to be produced in sweatshops, neither by children or by adults underpaid.

Where does the clothing production take place?

My production takes place in Portugal and in the Netherlands.

The zero-waste method means -among other- working with fabrics-leftovers, where do you find them? 

The northern part of Portugal was once a flourishing industrial area of textile production. Luckily there are still great producers left, like weaving companies and knit manufacturers who still have the most beautiful stock.

How did you find your manufacturers?

I have been introduced to my clothing manufacturer in Portugal by my Fashion Agent in Belgium (Garderobe+) so I immediately had decent background information and it felt as a good connection as well. It’s important to have a trustworthy network. And it’s also important to nurture the connection that you have with the people where you work with, for example: I visit the factory three times a year.

The use of the fabrics are clearly very important for your work. How do you start your designproces?

I start with the materials first, for practical matters.  The theme of a collection then evolves during the creative process.

What is your opinion about the fashion industry as it is today?        

Actually I am mostly frustrated about the industry.

About the clothing industry: I do find that there should be a lot more pressure on the big brands who produce in countries with cheap labour.

About the fashion scene: There should be more attention for small talented designers instead of constantly mentioning and favouring the same familiar names all over again.

Do you still feel the same frustration as a couple of years ago, when you started your career? Have there been any changes in mentality?

Unfortunately I still feel the same frustration and even a bit more now because I hoped for so much more awareness by now. The bad practices are happening a tiny bit less than it used to be but there is still sooo much work that has to be done. And I really do think that the big players -who are big influencers- have to do a much bigger effort! It should be more common that there are regular check-ups on the ground.

Let’s focus on a good example in the industry : your great winter collection! Where did you find the inspiration?

In my mind! I have a whole compilation of things where I have once set my eyes upon. Usually, I get inspired while travelling or just walking down the street and being around people. My antenna then start working and together with the fabrics: a collection pops out!

Which piece of it do u love the most and why?                                                    

The kimono jacket made of cupro, made out of cellulose fibre with the touch of silk (Picture above). Because it’s easy to combine, you can wear it casual but also dressed and it’s a jacket during the summer and a vest during the winter.

I, for one, am totally in love with the wine red silk dress, can you tell me something about the journey of that dress? (dress on the picture beneath)

I discovered this wine red fabric at a warehouse of a Portuguese textile manufacturer. At the moment I touched the cupro, I was sold. The fabric is so beautiful by itself that you don’t need complicated designs or shapes. You just need a timeless classic design like a t-shirt dress, develop a construction for woven fabric et voila: you have a t-shirt dress in a unexpected heavenly fabric. A classic comfortable piece with a twist.


I will dear Barbara, I will. Thank u so much for the interview!

You can buy Barbara in Belgium at Today is a good day in Antwerp & Ghent and at My Closet at Sint-Niklaas

For more information about Barbara, click here 

My favorite Wine Red T-shirt Dress
My favorite Wine Red T-shirt Dress

wintercollectie-2014-Nin-141-coat 21034 wintercollectie-2014-Nin-100 Barbara coat wintercollectie-2014-Barbara 2          A couple shots out of The Winter Collection 2014-2015

How do I know that my favourite label cares?

Alain went crazy with post-its

One of the perks of a workaholic boyfriend is that his work gets him to cool places and so.. I get to go to cool places 😉

One of those places is absolutely and positively for sure : Amsterdam.

Only one hour and a half drive from Antwerp, you find one of the coolest cities in the world.

We lived there for 2 months this summer so I did some visiting and some wondering…

During my visit to the Rijksmuseum, I had special attention for the guest curator: Alain de Botton. His name turned up during my Moral Philosophy studies as a philosopher that writes about social-economic symptoms like status anxiety, the art of travel and love. So I was pretty curious!                            I came unprepared though because I didn’t read his book ‘Art is Therapy’ first (Sorry Alain).

He placed post-its inside the museum to guide you trough the pieces. And yeah, He guided me already! Though I’m not a fan of all his interpretations, I do like to give u THIS one to wonder with me.

Art is Consumerism

Being Mary Shoppins and all, I too feel the urge to have nice things. Actually.. I like to have ALL the things that I find interesting at this very moment and I want them without becoming broke and having to live in a box on the street (where would I put all my nice things? The box would be too tiny obviously *roll eyes*).

Back to Mister Post-it:

“A good response to consumerism might be to recognise what is required to provide these products justly.” Alain de Botton

In my pleed against fast consumerism and for slow fashion, I’d like to share with you a couple tools to check how justly your favorite label is and how much they recognize it:

 Sites en Apps :

* The Rank A Brand-app voor Apple en Android                                                         Rank a brand consists out of a team with independent consumers who investigate how sustainable their favorite labels are. You find an overview of important consumer brands and their sustainability scores based on themes such as : environment, climate, labor issues, and transparency.

* The Talking Dress-app voor Apple en Android takes you shopping with a ‘green’ fashionmind, this app presents a shopping and inspiration guide for an honest living and a fair lifestyle.

*The Dutch campaign ‘De Schone Kleren campagne‘ designed the Fair-Fashion-App  for Apple  and Android                                                                                                              This campaign focus is on the wages in the fashion industry. They conducted a survey in 2013 with the aim of providing greater transparency for consumers on this issue. More than 140 fashion brands were analyzed and are now brought to you as an app, which was realized by the Swiss Clean Clothes Campaign, the Berne Declaration.

Milieu centraal designed ‘The Keurenmerkwijzer‘ for Apple and Android                                                                 This app gives you information about how rating works, what the parameters are and does that for more than only for clothes. 

Find me on Bloglovin

Fashionista’s Closet

Do you like an introduction to this article? Press here.

Are you a fashion victim? If you’re quite familiar with the following situation, than I think we have an answer:

You really appreciate the nice choice of fabrics, the great lining and the fine design of clothing. There is always somewhere a perfect piece of clothing which without your closet can’t be considered complete. And while you read this, you are already dreaming about it, your stomach fills itself with a butterfly-like feeling, you get that happy glow on your cheeks, your eyes start to sparkle and your mind is all of a sudden in a state of woozyness and somewhere in the middle of *labelheaven*.

Cause ow yeah you have something on your imaginary list that is perfect, that is soft, that is nice and looks surprisingly well with at least 3 other items in your closet.. oh god yes, that piece!

Was this recognizable? I’m sorry honey, You’re guilty as charged!

 Now ask yourself: do I need it?

Off course not sweety, your closet is full of great stuff and you already have to negotiate every season with your significant other to conquer a bit of his closet space, because get a grip man! A dude can’t wear skirts and dresses, it’s a very logical conclusion that he has to move over.. just a little bit more…

 But do U want it? Ow yes. YES. YEEEEEES!!! A thousand times YES.

 Now easy tiger!

Before you grab your darling heels and start running to Wonderland..

Realize that you’re not alone! A lot of other fashion victims like you, already bought it and yes….. They have lost the fight this season! The lack of space brought them to do the unthinkable:

    Clear out the dressing!

 So take a peak in their closet, re-use something so nice and while you’re at it.. Do your wallet a favour!

So take care of your heart, let it skip a beat while watching other fellow fashionistas’ closets and sleep well tonight cause you did something good!

You took it slow 😉

Where do u find their closets online?

Wanna be absolutely sure that it’s a real fashionista you’re buying from? Shop the blogsters’closets  at Fashionup

Designers alert! : 

Vestiaire Collective



Designer Vintage

Big stock of everything : 

2e Hands


Etsy Vintage

Designer Vintage