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Day 20!... this was fun! Today I'm asked to rate my knowledge on the topic of sustainable fashion. I'm a more enlightened 5 today as I cross this challenge off the list! I'm so inspired seeing what people are doing to help clean up the apparel industry. I look forward to restyling my wardrobe and reading more great books and articles from things I learned about in this challenge. This June I'm super excited to return to the Fashion Institute of Technology for the summer Sustainability series! It's so great to get together with like minded people and learn new things. This online challenge was a great reminder of that and I plan to keep that spirit of learning up back home!
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Day 19... a recap of what we learned and d one reading. This has been great fun and inspirational to continue with my passion for sustainable apparel. Here's the list of books that are recommended. I've read a few of these and look forward to reading some more.
Fashion & Sustainability by Kate Fletcher
Sustainable Fashion Textiles by Kate Fletcher
Sustainable Fashion Handbook by Sandy Black
Overdressed: Shopping in the age of cheap fashion by Elizabeth Cline
Factory Girls by Lesley Chang
I would also add anything by my inspirational teacher, Sass Brown and follow her blog ecofashion talk.
Day 18 is what I was waiting for!... a reason to shop!... I was thinking that is what this would be all about, supporting great sustainable brands. I settled on some awesome shoes by El Naturalista I've had my eye on!
Day 17... oh how I love online shopping!... today is filled with great tips for buying online. The toughest part is figuring out sizing but once I found brands I love after much trial and error I know what to expect.
Here's a couple of my favorite brands:
Neon Buddha - Great knits but run a little big
Green 3 - Love their eclectic selection and it's in my home state! Sizing has been pretty true so far!
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 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 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 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!
...an adventurous vegetarian from Milwaukee, Wisconsin that enjoys exploring her new home state of North Carolina with her husband and two dogs.