Back in spring of 2017, I released a blog entitled, "Don't Get Overwhelmed. Buying Sustainable/Ethical". You can read it here. https://bit.ly/2qKRJBX    In it, I shared some of my favorite ways to shop sustainably and a bit of the journey that led me to feel passionate about living with longevity in mind. 

I am still on this sustainable path and enjoying watching its popularity bloom. Major brands are hosting clothing buybacks, beautiful and creative patchwork for repairing clothes is emerging, vintage shopping is enjoying renewed acclaim, clothing swaps are on the rise, education is everywhere, and many in the fashion industry are turning to less damaging practices. Society as a whole is seeming to recognize we have a major trash issue and not as much time as we had hoped to address proper solutions. Our daily choices can help or hinder and we feel good when we find those decisions that serve both our needs and are responsible.

The trick to not feeling overwhelmed in reaching any goal is to put good systems in place and seek progress, not perfection. Picking the options that fit into your lifestyle and beliefs are key. For example, my assistant has young children who, as you know, grow like weeds and burn through clothes faster than you can keep up with. To combat the cost and waste, she and her neighbor host a clothing swap with friends twice and year to refresh the littles' closets in a responsible and fun way. In between swaps, she has boxes set aside to take swap items as she comes across them making it low effort and practical. She also encourages family to skip the toys and contribute to memorable experiences for the children whether it be classes they want to take, surf gear, or some special outing. Nothing earth shattering but some small contributions that fit into their lifestyle and she can feel good about. 

Another helpful way is to choose brands that are committed to sustainable and responsible practices. Factory45 - an "accelerator program that takes sustainable apparel companies from ideas to launch" - is now making it easier than ever to find and support eco fashion.  Join us as we celebrate the launch of Market45! An ethical fashion marketplace hand-curated with small businesses that are purposeful and thoughtful in their designs and production. Market45's founder Shannon has done the footwork for you and put together 20 ethical businesses in one easy to use space. Market45 can be found here https://market45.co and is yet another painless way to make responsible decisions that are good for your closet and this wild blue earth of ours. 

 

 

Introducing Market 45

 

Back in spring of 2017, I released a blog entitled, "Don't Get Overwhelmed. Buying Sustainable/Ethical". You can read it here. https://bit.ly/2qKRJBX    In it, I shared some of my favorite ways to shop sustainably and a bit of the journey that led me to feel passionate about living with longevity in mind. 

I am still on this sustainable path and enjoying watching its popularity bloom. Major brands are hosting clothing buybacks, beautiful and creative patchwork for repairing clothes is emerging, vintage shopping is enjoying renewed acclaim, clothing swaps are on the rise, education is everywhere, and many in the fashion industry are turning to less damaging practices. Society as a whole is seeming to recognize we have a major trash issue and not as much time as we had hoped to address proper solutions. Our daily choices can help or hinder and we feel good when we find those decisions that serve both our needs and are responsible.

The trick to not feeling overwhelmed in reaching any goal is to put good systems in place and seek progress, not perfection. Picking the options that fit into your lifestyle and beliefs are key. For example, my assistant has young children who, as you know, grow like weeds and burn through clothes faster than you can keep up with. To combat the cost and waste, she and her neighbor host a clothing swap with friends twice and year to refresh the littles' closets in a responsible and fun way. In between swaps, she has boxes set aside to take swap items as she comes across them making it low effort and practical. She also encourages family to skip the toys and contribute to memorable experiences for the children whether it be classes they want to take, surf gear, or some special outing. Nothing earth shattering but some small contributions that fit into their lifestyle and she can feel good about. 

Another helpful way is to choose brands that are committed to sustainable and responsible practices. Factory45 - an "accelerator program that takes sustainable apparel companies from ideas to launch" - is now making it easier than ever to find and support eco fashion.  Join us as we celebrate the launch of Market45! An ethical fashion marketplace hand-curated with small businesses that are purposeful and thoughtful in their designs and production. Market45's founder Shannon has done the footwork for you and put together 20 ethical businesses in one easy to use space. Market45 can be found here https://market45.co and is yet another painless way to make responsible decisions that are good for your closet and this wild blue earth of ours. 

 

 

Yukata

If you have spent time in Japan then summer will conjure images of fireflies, shaved ice,  dragon boat racing, festivals, fireworks and most of all, yukata. Yukata are the lightweight kimono used during the humid summer months and although typically now they will just be worn for special occasions by adults, small children will often be seen in yukata especially at festivals.

Yukata were originally worn after bathing or soaking in a public bathhouse in lieu of towels. The fabrics tend to be brighter and indigo is once again one of the most popular colors. Indigo is an easy to work with natural dye which can be seen on so many of our favorite Japanese fabrics. It is applied to the yukata through a resistance rice paste and paper stencils. A design is cut out of paper on a slightly larger than bolt sized stencil. The rice paste is then applied to the white cotton bolt then set into the indigo dye vat. The end product is a beautiful blue fabric with white figural or abstract pattern - or the most charming of the summer patterns - fireworks!

Another fascinating aspect of the yukata and all kimono is the way in which the fabric is cut out. All kimonos are cut into the letter T, sewn in panels. Were a panel to become stained or damaged beyond repair, it can be easily pulled off and replaced rather than replacing the entire garment. The idea of mottanai - an expression that shows regret in regards to waste or being wasteful - is built right into each garment! How can we see and know and not be inspired!

A beautiful example of mottanai.  Swoon.

 

Kasuri

Kasuri is Japan's ikat pattern - a resist dyeing technique that can be seen in so many beautiful textiles from around the world. When you see the blurry edges you will know you are looking at ikat. At first, most kauri patterns were small geometric patterns called igeta - small dots, squares, dashes, crosses, etc. They were often times made with indigo dye and some eventually added red and a few small splashes of color. I do remember on one fabric shopping trip, in particular, finding several small bits of green - green I say! - kasuri and being really impressed. Later on, patterns moved beyond dashes and dots and were developed and designated to different household goods. 

These antique kasuri beauties, made with skill and love from the dyeing with natural indigo to the hand spinning and weaving are becoming increasingly difficult to find making every scrap a treasure and every Cultural Detour remake a one of a kind piece of wearable, storied art.

 

 

 

This is a great website to check out: https://www.kimonoboy.com

 

Traditional Fabrics - Beauty+Skill Part 3 Yukata+Kasuri

Yukata

If you have spent time in Japan then summer will conjure images of fireflies, shaved ice,  dragon boat racing, festivals, fireworks and most of all, yukata. Yukata are the lightweight kimono used during the humid summer months and although typically now they will just be worn for special occasions by adults, small children will often be seen in yukata especially at festivals.

Yukata were originally worn after bathing or soaking in a public bathhouse in lieu of towels. The fabrics tend to be brighter and indigo is once again one of the most popular colors. Indigo is an easy to work with natural dye which can be seen on so many of our favorite Japanese fabrics. It is applied to the yukata through a resistance rice paste and paper stencils. A design is cut out of paper on a slightly larger than bolt sized stencil. The rice paste is then applied to the white cotton bolt then set into the indigo dye vat. The end product is a beautiful blue fabric with white figural or abstract pattern - or the most charming of the summer patterns - fireworks!

Another fascinating aspect of the yukata and all kimono is the way in which the fabric is cut out. All kimonos are cut into the letter T, sewn in panels. Were a panel to become stained or damaged beyond repair, it can be easily pulled off and replaced rather than replacing the entire garment. The idea of mottanai - an expression that shows regret in regards to waste or being wasteful - is built right into each garment! How can we see and know and not be inspired!

A beautiful example of mottanai.  Swoon.

 

Kasuri

Kasuri is Japan's ikat pattern - a resist dyeing technique that can be seen in so many beautiful textiles from around the world. When you see the blurry edges you will know you are looking at ikat. At first, most kauri patterns were small geometric patterns called igeta - small dots, squares, dashes, crosses, etc. They were often times made with indigo dye and some eventually added red and a few small splashes of color. I do remember on one fabric shopping trip, in particular, finding several small bits of green - green I say! - kasuri and being really impressed. Later on, patterns moved beyond dashes and dots and were developed and designated to different household goods. 

These antique kasuri beauties, made with skill and love from the dyeing with natural indigo to the hand spinning and weaving are becoming increasingly difficult to find making every scrap a treasure and every Cultural Detour remake a one of a kind piece of wearable, storied art.

 

 

 

This is a great website to check out: https://www.kimonoboy.com

 

Boro

Ahhhh boro. In my mind, boro is the Japanese mindset summed up in one place. It is born of the idea of mottainai which is how one will express their desire to not waste. This is a hard-wired habit of the Japanese - not being wasteful. Looking around Japan, you see it in practice everywhere. In school, you will find children buy one large sturdy backpack and use it until graduation. Small children can be seen creating toys out of empty juice bottles and newspapers that their mothers have cleaned and donated.  At lunchtime, it is typical to see last night's dinner tucked into the middle of a triangle of rice called onigiri ensuring leftovers do no go to waste - convenient, delicious, and practical. Mottainai is a favorite theme of mine and one at the very heart of Cultural Detour.

Boro is another stunning and functional example of this mindset. It is a type of patchwork where every bit of fabric in clothing, bedding and housewares were used again and again by the same family for generation after generation with nothing left to waste. Holey knees or frayed edges were mended with whichever bit of fabric was available at the time creating storied mosaics fascinating to the eye. These fabrics were often the soft indigo dyed cottons which have a captivating way of seeming equally modern and ancient.  In our oh-so-disposable society there is much to be appreciated and learned about cherishing and showing gratitude for everything we own and creating with the intention of gifting it forward for many generations to come. 

Boro is a personal favorite of mine and has been the inspiration for many of my designs including ties, some exclusively released clutches, and boro inspired scarves. Therefore, I am happy to announce today, for the first time, a mottainai inspired line for Cultural Detour is in the works! We have been hard at work to infuse this spirit of wasting nothing; to utilize every bit of fabric we come across - even the ones too small for our main offerings - to create a whole new line by Cultural Detour. Stay tuned for sneak peeks and more details!!

 

Kakishibu   

Where sensibility and allure meet.

In a typical display of Japan's ability to marry beauty and practicality, kakishibu is born. Unripe persimmons are fermented then used to dye natural fabrics rendering them sensible and alluring.  Since the dye is fermented, it prevents bacteria, mold and insect infestations. This process also makes natural fibers more resistant to water and extremely durable. As it is impossible to replicate exact color results, each hand dyed piece is a work of art like no other. All the fabric in Cultural Detour's Kakishibu Collection are vintage yukata kimono traditionally colored here on island by a skilled Okinawan then creatively transformed into accessories for your modern wardrobe.  

 

 

 

I am excited to share this riveting and unique fabric with you. The tradition! The practicality! The colors! The ancient technology! I can't wait to get it into your hands and am grateful to have this venue of blogging to share my love of these arts with you. Wearing a Cultural Detour piece is definitely a conversation starter, now you will have that much more to say about it.

To watch a little bit of the persimmon dyeing process in action, click on the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3_h-veOe9U

Traditional Textiles of Japan: Beauty and Skill Part 2 ~ Boro+Kakishibu

Boro

Ahhhh boro. In my mind, boro is the Japanese mindset summed up in one place. It is born of the idea of mottainai which is how one will express their desire to not waste. This is a hard-wired habit of the Japanese - not being wasteful. Looking around Japan, you see it in practice everywhere. In school, you will find children buy one large sturdy backpack and use it until graduation. Small children can be seen creating toys out of empty juice bottles and newspapers that their mothers have cleaned and donated.  At lunchtime, it is typical to see last night's dinner tucked into the middle of a triangle of rice called onigiri ensuring leftovers do no go to waste - convenient, delicious, and practical. Mottainai is a favorite theme of mine and one at the very heart of Cultural Detour.

Boro is another stunning and functional example of this mindset. It is a type of patchwork where every bit of fabric in clothing, bedding and housewares were used again and again by the same family for generation after generation with nothing left to waste. Holey knees or frayed edges were mended with whichever bit of fabric was available at the time creating storied mosaics fascinating to the eye. These fabrics were often the soft indigo dyed cottons which have a captivating way of seeming equally modern and ancient.  In our oh-so-disposable society there is much to be appreciated and learned about cherishing and showing gratitude for everything we own and creating with the intention of gifting it forward for many generations to come. 

Boro is a personal favorite of mine and has been the inspiration for many of my designs including ties, some exclusively released clutches, and boro inspired scarves. Therefore, I am happy to announce today, for the first time, a mottainai inspired line for Cultural Detour is in the works! We have been hard at work to infuse this spirit of wasting nothing; to utilize every bit of fabric we come across - even the ones too small for our main offerings - to create a whole new line by Cultural Detour. Stay tuned for sneak peeks and more details!!

 

Kakishibu   

Where sensibility and allure meet.

In a typical display of Japan's ability to marry beauty and practicality, kakishibu is born. Unripe persimmons are fermented then used to dye natural fabrics rendering them sensible and alluring.  Since the dye is fermented, it prevents bacteria, mold and insect infestations. This process also makes natural fibers more resistant to water and extremely durable. As it is impossible to replicate exact color results, each hand dyed piece is a work of art like no other. All the fabric in Cultural Detour's Kakishibu Collection are vintage yukata kimono traditionally colored here on island by a skilled Okinawan then creatively transformed into accessories for your modern wardrobe.  

 

 

 

I am excited to share this riveting and unique fabric with you. The tradition! The practicality! The colors! The ancient technology! I can't wait to get it into your hands and am grateful to have this venue of blogging to share my love of these arts with you. Wearing a Cultural Detour piece is definitely a conversation starter, now you will have that much more to say about it.

To watch a little bit of the persimmon dyeing process in action, click on the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3_h-veOe9U

 Growing up on a small Japanese island steeped in tradition, it was easy to imagine days gone. Visiting the old houses and shrines sends one's mind on a journey to days past where everything was done by hand. Where wood was chopped for houses, food grown to cook, and thread weaved into clothing. When I was a little girl my imagination was easily captured by these old buildings and the traditional clothing. Oh the kimonos with their rich colors, patterns, and scenes! My adult mind is swept away by the skill and labor put into the making of these things. The growing, spinning, dyeing, weaving, hand painting, cutting, sewing then arduous ceremony of actually putting a kimono on is nothing short of mind-blowing.

As a girl I remember being enraptured when I saw neighbors and strangers dressed in kimono. As magical as I thought it was then, knowing about the process has made it even more so. Traditionally the silk was gathered, spun into thread, dyed, weaved into ornate patterns, hand painted, then cut and sewn making each one an absolute labor of love and work of art. Within the world of silk are many variations: chirimen, kinsha, meisen, omeshi, rinzu, ro, sha, tsumugi, and yuki-tsumugi. All with their technology, patterns, and beauty. And this was just the silk! The variety of fabric is just as varied and beautiful as the landscape of Japan itself.

If you are as enraptured as I am by the silks, I invite you to spend a few minutes watching this  UNESCO video on You Tube to see the craftswomen at work. Fascinating!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4T-x0ObDqE

One of our most popular fabrics is the shibori. Shibori is immediately striking for its intriguing texture, colors, and patterns. Once you know how they are made though, it really ups the wow factor.  No less than 3 crafts people are required for the process; a stenciler, tier, and dyer. The fabric is stenciled then laid over a tiny dowel and tied off by hand. Every single little dot you see has been tied off by hand! Astounding! Each can take 10-20 days to tie off just one piece! After, it is dyed and dried to reveal the intricate patterns and fascinating color combinations. 

Here is a video about the Arimatsu shibori that is currently featured in our spring collection. It's a little bit long but fascinating and includes a great little history bit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg-udpb8aRQ

Here is another that is in Japanese but has some great shots of the tying off process. Plus I love all the grannies in it! Skilled + adorable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZSpxj4Ywg4&t=269s

I wonder if you are as taken by these practical arts as I am. If so, join me for the next installation of this 3 part series where we will visit boro and kakishibu.

 

Traditional Textiles of Japan: Beauty and Skill Part 1 ~ Silk + Shibori

 Growing up on a small Japanese island steeped in tradition, it was easy to imagine days gone. Visiting the old houses and shrines sends one's mind on a journey to days past where everything was done by hand. Where wood was chopped for houses, food grown to cook, and thread weaved into clothing. When I was a little girl my imagination was easily captured by these old buildings and the traditional clothing. Oh the kimonos with their rich colors, patterns, and scenes! My adult mind is swept away by the skill and labor put into the making of these things. The growing, spinning, dyeing, weaving, hand painting, cutting, sewing then arduous ceremony of actually putting a kimono on is nothing short of mind-blowing.

As a girl I remember being enraptured when I saw neighbors and strangers dressed in kimono. As magical as I thought it was then, knowing about the process has made it even more so. Traditionally the silk was gathered, spun into thread, dyed, weaved into ornate patterns, hand painted, then cut and sewn making each one an absolute labor of love and work of art. Within the world of silk are many variations: chirimen, kinsha, meisen, omeshi, rinzu, ro, sha, tsumugi, and yuki-tsumugi. All with their technology, patterns, and beauty. And this was just the silk! The variety of fabric is just as varied and beautiful as the landscape of Japan itself.

If you are as enraptured as I am by the silks, I invite you to spend a few minutes watching this  UNESCO video on You Tube to see the craftswomen at work. Fascinating!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4T-x0ObDqE

One of our most popular fabrics is the shibori. Shibori is immediately striking for its intriguing texture, colors, and patterns. Once you know how they are made though, it really ups the wow factor.  No less than 3 crafts people are required for the process; a stenciler, tier, and dyer. The fabric is stenciled then laid over a tiny dowel and tied off by hand. Every single little dot you see has been tied off by hand! Astounding! Each can take 10-20 days to tie off just one piece! After, it is dyed and dried to reveal the intricate patterns and fascinating color combinations. 

Here is a video about the Arimatsu shibori that is currently featured in our spring collection. It's a little bit long but fascinating and includes a great little history bit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg-udpb8aRQ

Here is another that is in Japanese but has some great shots of the tying off process. Plus I love all the grannies in it! Skilled + adorable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZSpxj4Ywg4&t=269s

I wonder if you are as taken by these practical arts as I am. If so, join me for the next installation of this 3 part series where we will visit boro and kakishibu.

 

The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day; a movement is only people moving." -Gloria Steinem

  

Emerald greens. Deep heavy blues. Vibrant turquoise under a sparkling golden sky. Salty breezes inhaled all the way down to my toes. This was my every day growing up on the island of Okinawa. A childhood that has shaped me in only the ways that place can. What I am coming to realize lately is that I have brought many more gifts off that little island with me than I had ever known. Many are immediately obvious: freckles, a deep love for ramen and pottery. Some more subtle: a decent Japanese vocabulary, a knack for sniffing out all the beautiful antique kimonos and mad skills driving on the left side of the road. And some other soul offerings are still being unearthed to this very day; sometimes at a giant poisonous Okinawan's snail pace and other times a frenzied and panicked pace.

One of the subtle bits I brought away that is slowly unravelling itself into a whole new world for me was a concern for where our trash ends up. Living on a tiny island, one becomes painfully aware of the great amount of trash we create and the very few options we have to dispose of it. This fact led me to a place of great curiosity about how we can create much less waste by making good choices and getting greater use of the things we already have. I experimented with buying soulful old pieces of furniture and fabric. I began looking for ways to live in a state of giving more and taking less. More than anything, I want my decisions and my lifestyle to be more in harmony with how I feel about nature and my community. Asking myself this repeatedly - am I living in harmony with my surroundings? - has slowly unfolded into a passion for living (and working!) more sustainably. 

The more I made decisions that sat well with my soul, the more I wanted to know what else I could be doing to create this sense of harmony I was beginning to feel. I began to sign up for courses, read books, watch documentaries and listen to podcasts at an almost frenzied pace. At certain points, I would begin to feel overwhelmed with all that I felt needed to be done. Then I took a deep breath and began where I could. Small changes I could manage that began to link in a chain that grows longer and stronger daily. So now I invite you, my friends, to link your own changes onto this chain because I truly believe alone we are strong, together we are stronger.

I am going to share some of my favorite options and resources that have educated or inspired me. Pick which ones appeal to you and see how they fit into your lifestyle and how adding your links to the chain make you feel. I hope amazing!

REDUCE

A fairly new habit of mine is taking a look around to see where I can reduce my waste in the first place. It doesn't always work out and that's fine, I just try again.

Reusable coffee filters or k cups. They make both!

Toothbrushes. All of that plastic that never goes anywhere. Bamboo toothbrushes are available with heads that can be replaced.

Shopping bags. You can make your own no sew bags out of old t-shirts. Reducing AND reusing. A two-fer! My favorite. It may take awhile to get used to bringing them with you but you got this. https://www.mommypotamus.com/no-sew-t-shirt-tote-bag-tutorial/

Buying bulk. Many stores offer a bulk section on items like rice and granola and you can bring in your own container. If sold by weight, the shop will weigh your container first then deduct that from the price when they ring you up.

Bring your own coffee mug to work or the coffee shop. Check out http://www.shopcompliment.com for some saucy ones made by a fellow momprenuer.

REUSE

Before you throw something out ask yourself if it can be given a new life. Can that crib you are about to throw out be sold? Given to a pregnant friend? That young couple down the street? Or my favorite, made into a desk!  http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/crib-to-desk-160682

There are many other items that can be given new life in a different way before being thrown out. There are companies that will patch clothing for you, turn race t-shirts into a quilt, repair outdoor gear, resole favorite shoes etc. A little research goes a long way!

The sewing room is MY absolute favorite place to reuse. Daddy's t-shirt into a baby onesie or a million other fun things? Scraps of leftover fabric into a little girls skirt? Yes, please! Just ask Pinterest. It will give you ideas for more things than you ever dreamt of! Don't sew? There are many no sew projects and those of us that do sew will often be willing to trade our sewing skills for baby sitting or homemade dinners!

For all you crocheters out there, make your own yarn out of old t-shirts!               http://www.simplycrochetmag.co.uk/2013/04/17/diy-fabric-yarn/

The kitchen is another great place to reuse. That glass jar your spaghetti sauce came in makes a great leftovers jar, vase or storage for all those batteries waiting to be recycled. 

After deciding that you need to purchase something new - check for a used one first. Kids bike? Eek! They grow out of them so quickly anyway. Why spend the money on a new one? End table? Children's books? Check your local thrift stores, yard sale pages, or garage sales.

Speaking of kids growing out of things at a break neck pace, why not try these same places for your kids' clothing? Many thrift stores have $ .50 days and other eye popping sales. If perusing the shops is not for you, head over to my new favorite thrift site http://www.thredup.com for easy online shopping for the whole family!

Another fun idea is to host a clothing swap. It's a great way to freshen up your wardrobe and have good quality time with your friends. 

BUY SUSTAINABLE

These are the pieces that will be priced a little higher but they will last much longer and keep those impulse buys and crowded closets in check. Plus, all the money you have saved in other areas can go into buying sustainable pieces that you truly love. Wikipedia will tell you sustainable fashion is "part of the growing design philosophy and trend of sustainability, the goal of which is to create a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of human impact on the environment and social responsibility." My definition is making products in a way that reflects how we feel about nature, our communities and our children. Do we want to shield and nurture these things or poison them? Are these things to abuse? To destroy?  Here are a few of my favorite sustainable companies but please discover and share your own!   

       Groceries Apparel   http://www.groceriesapparel.com

       The Vintage Twin   http://www.thevintagetwin.com

       Zero Waste Daniel   http://www.zerowastedaniel.com

       Malia Designs   http://www.maliadesigns.com  

       Glitsea Gypsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheGlitseaGypsy

       Unique Pl8z   http://www.uniquepl8z.com/

 

Here are 35 more:                                                              

http://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/fair-trade-clothing

This is by no means a comprehensive list but I hope you have found it interesting and helpful and I invite you to share this article and your favorite resources and/or tips in the comment section below.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

 

Resources:

Fashion Revolution http://fashionrevolution.org/

Pod Cast Conscious Chatter  http://consciouschatter.com/

Books:

To Die for: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? by Lucy Siegle                     https://www.amazon.com/dp/0007264097/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_98ivybKKVN4PQ

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline              https://www.amazon.com/dp/1591846544/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_Q9ivyb4RJ0CKQ

Wear No Evil: How to Change the World with Your Wardrobe by Greta Eagan      https://www.amazon.com/dp/0762451270/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_L7ivybVM1E8VJ

Articles:

We have No Idea How Bad Fashion Actually Is for the Environment http://www.racked.com/2017/3/15/14842476/fashion-climate-change-environment-pollution

Documentaries:

The True Cost     http://truecostmovie.com

Don't Get Overwhelmed Buying Sustainable + Ethical

The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day; a movement is only people moving." -Gloria Steinem

  

Emerald greens. Deep heavy blues. Vibrant turquoise under a sparkling golden sky. Salty breezes inhaled all the way down to my toes. This was my every day growing up on the island of Okinawa. A childhood that has shaped me in only the ways that place can. What I am coming to realize lately is that I have brought many more gifts off that little island with me than I had ever known. Many are immediately obvious: freckles, a deep love for ramen and pottery. Some more subtle: a decent Japanese vocabulary, a knack for sniffing out all the beautiful antique kimonos and mad skills driving on the left side of the road. And some other soul offerings are still being unearthed to this very day; sometimes at a giant poisonous Okinawan's snail pace and other times a frenzied and panicked pace.

One of the subtle bits I brought away that is slowly unravelling itself into a whole new world for me was a concern for where our trash ends up. Living on a tiny island, one becomes painfully aware of the great amount of trash we create and the very few options we have to dispose of it. This fact led me to a place of great curiosity about how we can create much less waste by making good choices and getting greater use of the things we already have. I experimented with buying soulful old pieces of furniture and fabric. I began looking for ways to live in a state of giving more and taking less. More than anything, I want my decisions and my lifestyle to be more in harmony with how I feel about nature and my community. Asking myself this repeatedly - am I living in harmony with my surroundings? - has slowly unfolded into a passion for living (and working!) more sustainably. 

The more I made decisions that sat well with my soul, the more I wanted to know what else I could be doing to create this sense of harmony I was beginning to feel. I began to sign up for courses, read books, watch documentaries and listen to podcasts at an almost frenzied pace. At certain points, I would begin to feel overwhelmed with all that I felt needed to be done. Then I took a deep breath and began where I could. Small changes I could manage that began to link in a chain that grows longer and stronger daily. So now I invite you, my friends, to link your own changes onto this chain because I truly believe alone we are strong, together we are stronger.

I am going to share some of my favorite options and resources that have educated or inspired me. Pick which ones appeal to you and see how they fit into your lifestyle and how adding your links to the chain make you feel. I hope amazing!

REDUCE

A fairly new habit of mine is taking a look around to see where I can reduce my waste in the first place. It doesn't always work out and that's fine, I just try again.

Reusable coffee filters or k cups. They make both!

Toothbrushes. All of that plastic that never goes anywhere. Bamboo toothbrushes are available with heads that can be replaced.

Shopping bags. You can make your own no sew bags out of old t-shirts. Reducing AND reusing. A two-fer! My favorite. It may take awhile to get used to bringing them with you but you got this. https://www.mommypotamus.com/no-sew-t-shirt-tote-bag-tutorial/

Buying bulk. Many stores offer a bulk section on items like rice and granola and you can bring in your own container. If sold by weight, the shop will weigh your container first then deduct that from the price when they ring you up.

Bring your own coffee mug to work or the coffee shop. Check out http://www.shopcompliment.com for some saucy ones made by a fellow momprenuer.

REUSE

Before you throw something out ask yourself if it can be given a new life. Can that crib you are about to throw out be sold? Given to a pregnant friend? That young couple down the street? Or my favorite, made into a desk!  http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/crib-to-desk-160682

There are many other items that can be given new life in a different way before being thrown out. There are companies that will patch clothing for you, turn race t-shirts into a quilt, repair outdoor gear, resole favorite shoes etc. A little research goes a long way!

The sewing room is MY absolute favorite place to reuse. Daddy's t-shirt into a baby onesie or a million other fun things? Scraps of leftover fabric into a little girls skirt? Yes, please! Just ask Pinterest. It will give you ideas for more things than you ever dreamt of! Don't sew? There are many no sew projects and those of us that do sew will often be willing to trade our sewing skills for baby sitting or homemade dinners!

For all you crocheters out there, make your own yarn out of old t-shirts!               http://www.simplycrochetmag.co.uk/2013/04/17/diy-fabric-yarn/

The kitchen is another great place to reuse. That glass jar your spaghetti sauce came in makes a great leftovers jar, vase or storage for all those batteries waiting to be recycled. 

After deciding that you need to purchase something new - check for a used one first. Kids bike? Eek! They grow out of them so quickly anyway. Why spend the money on a new one? End table? Children's books? Check your local thrift stores, yard sale pages, or garage sales.

Speaking of kids growing out of things at a break neck pace, why not try these same places for your kids' clothing? Many thrift stores have $ .50 days and other eye popping sales. If perusing the shops is not for you, head over to my new favorite thrift site http://www.thredup.com for easy online shopping for the whole family!

Another fun idea is to host a clothing swap. It's a great way to freshen up your wardrobe and have good quality time with your friends. 

BUY SUSTAINABLE

These are the pieces that will be priced a little higher but they will last much longer and keep those impulse buys and crowded closets in check. Plus, all the money you have saved in other areas can go into buying sustainable pieces that you truly love. Wikipedia will tell you sustainable fashion is "part of the growing design philosophy and trend of sustainability, the goal of which is to create a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of human impact on the environment and social responsibility." My definition is making products in a way that reflects how we feel about nature, our communities and our children. Do we want to shield and nurture these things or poison them? Are these things to abuse? To destroy?  Here are a few of my favorite sustainable companies but please discover and share your own!   

       Groceries Apparel   http://www.groceriesapparel.com

       The Vintage Twin   http://www.thevintagetwin.com

       Zero Waste Daniel   http://www.zerowastedaniel.com

       Malia Designs   http://www.maliadesigns.com  

       Glitsea Gypsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheGlitseaGypsy

       Unique Pl8z   http://www.uniquepl8z.com/

 

Here are 35 more:                                                              

http://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/fair-trade-clothing

This is by no means a comprehensive list but I hope you have found it interesting and helpful and I invite you to share this article and your favorite resources and/or tips in the comment section below.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

 

Resources:

Fashion Revolution http://fashionrevolution.org/

Pod Cast Conscious Chatter  http://consciouschatter.com/

Books:

To Die for: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? by Lucy Siegle                     https://www.amazon.com/dp/0007264097/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_98ivybKKVN4PQ

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline              https://www.amazon.com/dp/1591846544/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_Q9ivyb4RJ0CKQ

Wear No Evil: How to Change the World with Your Wardrobe by Greta Eagan      https://www.amazon.com/dp/0762451270/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_L7ivybVM1E8VJ

Articles:

We have No Idea How Bad Fashion Actually Is for the Environment http://www.racked.com/2017/3/15/14842476/fashion-climate-change-environment-pollution

Documentaries:

The True Cost     http://truecostmovie.com

SOULFUL. Sustainable. STYLISH.