As you can see on THISpage, I’m playing for the ‘dogs are so fluffy- team’. But when my boyfriend and I just bought our little Froufrou, we often were shocked by the intolerance towards our little fluffball. All of a sudden we were playing against the ‘dogs are so scary, sleezy, dirty-team’.
Not a very pleasant experience but hey, everyone is entitled to have an opinion so we still cross the street but leave F. at home or *shhush* him one more time extra.
It’s ok, we’re still nice to the old angry lady who shouted really evil things to Froufrou because he sniffs in her mini rose garden or the spoiled little brat with her mylittlepony-bag who actually kicked at him.. we don’t like you guys either but hey, we adjust and we keep smiling!
What is certainly not ok and what really removes my smile is the way some people treat animals. Almost everyday, you can read articles in the newspaper about animal abuse. Real horribly stories..
“Arm the animals” is an organization that fights for animals which are or were treated badly. They give them a voice and are really trying to help them. In order to do that properly, they sell t-shirts and sweaters.
Their Mission: To Save Animals – One Shirt At A Time!
So if you buy a piece, you buy a voice for our team ☺
And as I promised you last week, this month is all about the man so look at my favorite animal/man-treats below.
For all you guys out there: this month is full of *sugar* for your appearance: Tips to turn you in a fair and fashionable man in 2015 ow yeah!
For all the not-so-single-ladies out there : I offer you gift tips to make your man even more *yummie*
I introduce to you.. Upcycling
Upcycling basically means that you take something that you do not need anymore in his natural form and re-use it in another shape.
For example : My man had still a lot of pre-work clothes in his closet and in my christmassy gift mood (and maybe also just a tiny little bit because I can use the closet space), I gave myself a solution for this peculiar problem.. I gave away a lot of clothes to a social program in the neighborhood but there’s always that one piece that really means something to you or is actually worth keeping.. The shirt in the pictures is not really my style but we share great memories about it so it deserved a special treatment!
That special treatment became a Van Hulley-experiment! I learned about the Van Hulley initiative on the Mint Platform at the Fashion Fair in Amsterdam and I just fell for this wonderfull project. Van Hulley uses old shirts and turns them into boxershorts and does it very nicely I may add. They are also doing great storytelling as you can see in the pictures beneath : nice envelope, nice poetry and a congrats-card.
And Taa-daaaa : The boxershort 🙂
Mission accomplished! I did some Upcycling from a shirt that wasn’t used as a shirt anymore and turned it into a Fair Christmas gift to make my man even more *yummie*
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!
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.
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 AndroidThis app gives you information about how rating works, what the parameters are and does that for more than only for clothes.