TRANSPARENZ IN DER MODEINDUSTRIE? MEY DECKT AUF (*DEUTSCH*)

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Ich will es wissen: Wie entsteht ein T-Shirt und wieviel Arbeit steckt dahinter? Transparenz in der Modeindustrie ist wichtig für mehr Nachhaltigkeit und Fairness. Das Modelabel Mey wird 90 Jahre alt und setzt sich genau dafür ein. Mit ihrer “FAIR MADE. FAIR PAID” Aktion wollen sie für mehr Transparenz sorgen und faire Mode für alle zugänglich machen. Denn – für ihre T-Shirts kann man selbst entscheiden wieviel man zahlt!  Ich habe nachgehakt und 13 Fragen an Mey & Meys Mitarbeiter gestellt.

1. Mey feiert 90 Jahre Jubiläum. Wie hat sich Mey seit der Gründung vor 90 Jahren verändert?

Wir sind sehr stolz auf die bereits 90-jährige Geschichte von Mey als Familienunternehmen, das bereits in der 3./4. Generation geführt wird. Natürlich haben sich in den letzten Jahren auch ein paar Dinge geändert. Gestartet sind wir 1928 als Lohnwirkerei und haben uns in den letzten 90 Jahren zu einer der führenden Bodywear- und Lifestylemarken entwickelt. Dabei hat sich natürlich auch die Kollektion im Damen- und Herrenbereich immer weiterentwickelt. Innovationen wie z.B das Mey Drunterhemd oder die Mey Spacer-Schale sind äußerst positive Beispiele, die uns bei dieser Transformation weitergebracht haben. Was wir dabei nie aus den Augen verloren haben, ist unsere Markenphilosophie und unsere Werte: Innovation, Verantwortungsbewusstsein und ein anspruchsvoller Umgang mit Material, Qualität und Verarbeitung. Außerdem sind wir auch sehr glücklich darüber, dass wir in der schnelllebigen Welt der Mode heute so erfolgreich am Markt positioniert sind. Dies konnte nur mit sehr viel Disziplin und stets einem klaren Ziel vor Augen, basierend auf unseren Unternehmenswerten, funktionieren. Mey war zu keinem Zeitpunkt am kurzfristigen Erfolg interessiert, sondern hatte immer eine nachhaltige und langfristige Entwicklung im Fokus.

2. Mey’s Jubiläumskollektion “Fair made. Fair paid” stellt die ethische Produktion eurer Teile in den Fokus. Wo stellt Mey die Kleidung her?

Nachhaltigkeit spielt heute in vielen Bereichen der Gesellschaft eine immer größer werdende Rolle. Die Gegenbewegung zum Billigwahn ist in vollem Gange und ist längst auch in der Welt der Mode an- gekommen. Schon seit der Gründung ist Nachhaltigkeit ein wichtiger Bestandteil von Mey. Nach dem Grundsatz, dass alles, was Menschen direkt am Körper tragen, höchsten Ansprüchen genügen muss, legen wir größten Wert auf nachhaltiges und sozial verantwortliches Handeln und produzieren überwiegend in eigenen Werken in Europa. Der Großteil der Wertschöpfung findet in Deutschland statt. Beispielsweise werden über 80% der Stoffe an unserem Standort in Deutschland hergestellt. In drei deutschen und zwei ausländischen Produktionsbetrieben (Portugal und Ungarn) arbeiten rund 1000 Menschen an der Entwicklung und Herstellung der Mey Wäsche. Modernste Produktionsmethoden in eigenen Werken, der effiziente Einsatz von Ressourcen und kurze Transportwege schonen die Umwelt.

3. Aus welchen Kleidungsstücken besteht die Jubiläumskollektion?

Die Mey Jubiläums-Kollektion konzentriert sich auf das Wesentliche der Marke und fokussiert sich dabei auf eine Auswahl an Basic T-Shirts und Tagwäsche für Damen und Herren.

Für den Bereich der Damen wurden zwei T-Shirt Styles entworfen, ein locker und breit geschnittenes Shirt im boxy-cut und ein tailliert-gestaltetes Shirt. Das Herrenshirt zeichnet sich durch eine casual Passform aus und orientiert sich an Schnitten der Oberbekleidung.

Die gesamte Kollektion basiert auf einem sehr hohen Baumwollanteil, gewonnen aus hochwertigster Peru Pima Baumwolle.

Das ganz Besondere an dieser Kollektion: im Rückenspiegel oder auf dem Hangtag befinden sich Portraits verschiedener Mey Mitarbeiter und persönlichen Statements. Alle Statements beginnen mit „Hey I’am…“ und beschreiben darauffolgend die Tätigkeit im Unternehmen und die Arbeit an diesem Produkt. Mit dieser Besonderheit wollen wir dem Endverbraucher einen Blick hinter die Kulissen bieten und zeigen, welche Menschen und Geschichten hinter den Mey Produkten und der verantwortungsvollen Produktion stehen.

4. Wie viele Menschen arbeiten an dem Design eines T-Shirts und wo werden Mey Teile designt?

Die Design-Teams sitzen an unserem Hauptstandort in Albstadt-Lautlingen, Süddeutschland. Das Damendesign-Team besteht aus 7 Designerinnen und dahinter steht noch einmal ein 6- köpfiges Schnitt-Team. Die Kollektion wird gemeinsam entwickelt. Im Herrendesign sind 5 Designerinnen und Designer für die Kollektion verantwortlich.

5. Wie äußert sich der Nachhaltigkeitsgedanke von Mey? In welchen Bereichen ist Mey umweltfreundlich?

Der Nachhaltigkeitsgedanke zieht sich von unseren Produkten, über die Produktion, bis hin zu kleineren Projekten wie dem Waschen des Firmenfuhrparks mit Regenwasser, oder dem Verwerten von Stoffresten für Dämmmaterialien. Das Bewusstsein für Nachhaltigkeit ist aus der Unternehmenshistorie begründet in den Köpfen der langjährigen Mitarbeiter verankert. Die Herausforderung besteht nun darin, dies in Zukunft auch zu übertragen und weiter als festen Bestandteil der Unternehmenskultur zu etablieren.

Ein weiteres Beispiel für gelebte Nachhaltigkeit ist der sogenannte “Schwäbische Bumerang”. Eine Innovation, die bereits 1997 ins Leben gerufen wurde. Dabei handelt es sich um ein ökologisches Bügelkreislaufsystem, bei dem die Kleiderbügel nach dem Verkauf im Handel gesammelt und in eine Werkstatt für Menschen mit Behinderung zur Aufbereitung geschickt werden. Bei Mey schließt sich der Kreislauf und die Bügel werden mit neuer Ware bestückt. Dadurch werden jährlich 50 Tonnen Abfall eingespart und permanent 40 Menschen mit Behinderung beschäftigt.

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6. Entscheiden schon die Designer aus welchen Material und wie das T-Shirt hergestellt wird?

Ja, bereits im Design wird das Material festgelegt. Allerdings gibt es zwei Herangehensweisen im Designprozess. Im Optimalfall wird ein Produkt skizziert und gestaltet. Daraufhin wird recherchiert und getestet, mit welchem Stoff / Material sich das Produkt optimal umsetzen lässt. Teilweise gibt es aber auch die Möglichkeit, dass ein bereits vorhandener Stoff fest in der Kollektion verankert ist, aus dem dann ein Produkt designt wird.

7. Wie lange dauert es ein T-Shirt herzustellen?

Bevor ein T-Shirt produziert werden kann, muss es natürlich erst einmal designt und entwickelt werden. Dabei handelt es sich um einen längerer Prozess der nur schwer in Zeit gemessen werden kann. Für eine gesamte Kollektion benötigen die Designerinnen und Designer ca. ein 1/2 Jahr. Der konkrete Herstellungsprozess bzw. die reine Produktionszeit eines T-Shirts, also die Zeit für das Stricken des Stoffss, die Verarbeitung in der Ausrüstung, den Zuschnitt und die Konfektion bedarf einen Zeitaufwand von ca. 22,5 Minuten pro T-Shirt.

Nach der Produktion des Shirts wird diese noch verpackt und versendet, bevor sie dann beim Endverbraucher / Händler ist.

8. Wie lange dauert es eine gesamte Kollektion zu entwickeln? Vom Design bis zur Verpackung.

Man glaubt es kaum, wieviel Entwicklung in so einem vermeintlich einfachen Produkt steckt.

Am Anfang steht immer die Recherche: Wie sieht ein modernes, wenn auch simples Shirt aus und wie wird es getragen; welches Material wollen wir einsetzen? Nach und nach entstehen dann erste Skizzen. In Zusammenarbeit mit der Schnitttechnik und der Musternäherei werden erste Prototypen gefertigt und anschließend gefittet. Manchmal braucht es mehrere Korrekturen bis der Style sitzt wie wir Designer es uns vorstellen. Der Feinschliff beginnt: Verarbeitungsproben, Motivdruckversuche, Labelentwicklung und die Stoffqualität wird geprüft. Daraufhin geht schon die erste Produktion los und Größensätze werden erstellt, welche wir dann an unterschiedlichen Trageprobanden ausprobieren und testen. Wie du siehst, bis ein Kleidungsstück entsteht, leisten viele Menschen einen wichtigen Beitrag. Jedes Jahr entstehen bei Mey zwei große Hauptkollektion welche ca. 1.000 Artikel umfasst. Für jede Kollektion benötigt es vom ersten Skizzenstrich bis zur Verpackung ca. ein halbes Jahr. Allerdings startet der erste Gedanke zur neuen Kollektion direkt nach den großen Messen und so fast ein Jahr im Voraus.

9. Wie viele Menschen sind an der Herstellung eines T-Shirts beteiligt?

Bis ein T-Shirt entsteht, leisten viele Menschen einen wichtigen Beitrag. Ungefähr kann gesagt werden, dass insgesamt 40 Personen an einem T-Shirt von der Baumwollplantage bis hin zur Lagerung beteiligt sind. Dabei werden folgende Abteilungen durchlaufen: Design, Baumwollanbau, Entkörnung, Spinnerei, Strickerei, Ausrüstung, Zuschnitt, Näherei, und die Qualitätskontrolle bevor die Produkte verpackt und versandt werden. Natürlich leisten viele Menschen und Abteilungen neben den genannten einen wichtigen Beitrag, von der Geschäftsleitung bis zu unserem Koch in der Kantine.

10. Für die Jubiläumskollektion hat Mey eine Verpackung aus Karton kreiert. War Umweltfreundlichkeit ein Hintergedanke bei der Idee und hat Mey Pläne Plastik in der Zukunft zu vermeiden?

Natürlich war uns bei der Verpackung der Shirts auch der verantwortungsvolle Umgang mit Ressourcen ein großes Anliegen. Denn zu einem nachhaltig produzierten Produkt gehören auch die passenden Verpackungen. Generell wird der Großteil unserer Basic-Programme in umweltfreundlichen Papierkartonagen verpackt. Einige Serien werden offen auf Bügeln ausgeliefert. Dies ist der Tatsache geschuldet, dass moderne Wäscheserien im Fachhandel ausschließlich offen präsentiert werden. Der Kunde möchte die Ware sehen, ohne sie aus der Schachtel nehmen zu müssen. Aus Gründen der Hygiene und Sauberkeit der Ware ist diese für den Transport mit einer Folie überzogen. Hier gibt es aktuell leider noch keine sinnvolle bzw. passende Alternative aus umweltfreundlichen Materialien für uns. Dennoch arbeiten wir daran und wollen auch unsere Verpackungen noch weiter optimieren.

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11. Mey startet eine ganz besondere Kampagne für die T-Shirt-Kollektion. „Pay what you want“ soll Geld für sozial oder gesundheitlich benachteiligte Kinder sammeln. Wer in der Mey Family kam auf diese Idee?

Generell war es eine bereichsübergreifende Entscheidung im Team. Es gibt unglaublich viele Projekte weltweit, die dringend Unterstützung benötigen. Wir haben uns nun für karitative Projekte entschieden, die uns persönlich wirklich sehr bewegen und am Herzen liegen.

12. Mey will noch zusätzlich Kunden die Möglichkeit geben an ein Projekt ihrer Wahl zu spenden. Welche Projekte gibt es zur Auswahl?

Wir werden den gesamten Erlös aus dieser Aktion an karitative Projekte spenden. Die „Freunde der Kinderklinik e.V.“ unterstützen eine einzigartige Spezialambulanz für Kinderdemenz an der Hamburger Kinderklinik des Universitätsklinikum Eppendorf. Ziel ist es, die weltweit einzige Spezialsprechstunde für spezielle Formen der Kinderdemenz für ein Jahr zu finanzieren. Der Verein „Straßenkinder e.V.“ kümmert sich um Kinder und Jugendliche in Berlin, die auf der Straße leben und leistet zudem wichtige Präventivarbeit für diejenigen, die von materieller und sozialer Armut bedroht sind. Wir möchten den Verein mit der Finanzierung eines Beratungsfahrzeugs für ein Jahr unterstützen, um die Brennpunkte anzufahren und die Jugendlichen vor Ort betreuen zu können. Das Ziel der Projekte ist es, sozial oder gesundheitlich benachteiligten Kindern eine Perspektive und Zukunft ermöglichen. Die teilnehmenden Fachhändler haben alternativ auch die Möglichkeit, die erzielte Spanne an ein Projekt ihrer Wahl zu spenden. Wir hoffen natürlich auf ein möglichst hohes Spendenergebnis!

13. Plant Mey weitere ähnliche Projekte in der Zukunft?

Wir sind sehr gespannt, wie das Projekt verlaufen wird, sind aber davon überzeugt, dass wir ein Statement setzen, Aufklärungsarbeit gegen den Fast Fashion Trend betreiben können und gleichzeitig mit der Unterstützung der karitativen Projekte wirklich etwas guten tun! Aktuell ist kein weiteres Projekt in dieser Größe geplant, aber in 10 Jahren feiern wir auch schon das 100-jährige Bestehen, wer weiß was bis dahin kommt. Es bleibt spannend und sicher lohnenswert die Geschichte weiter zu verfolgen!

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T-shirt by Mey
Jeans by Armed Angels €110
Bag by Labante
Shoes by Veja

FAIR & VEGAN FASHION QUICKY: CASUAL BLACK LOOK

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Another fair, sustainable & vegan fashion quicky. 1 outfit, 3 photos and just a few words.

Sweater by Armed Angels €70
Navy high waisted pants by Noumeonon €160
Black Derby shoes by Wills Vegan Shoes £80
Blush pink bag by Labante (my bff Sarah’s bag is by Labante as well)
Pink vegan silk scarf by JAN’ N JUNE €35
Old beret

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The sweater

I believe in equality between women and men. Fashion is no exception. Boy, wear those heels and nail polish and girl, shop that men’s wear. This sweater is borrowed from my boyfriend. It is made from organic cotton and ethically manufactured. It’s thin, soft and comfortable – a great basic.

The bag + scarf

Labante has some cute vegan bags and this blush pink one is my current favourite. The scarf is vegan and made from recycled plastic bottles. How dope is that? It also adds a glamorous touch and a pop of colour to the bag and outfit.

The shoes

I wear those all the time. They are my go-to shoes. Black so that they match every outfit, flat and comfortable and an elegant style so that they won’t look too casual. Vegan and ethically made.

The pants

Damn those are comfortable. So much belly room for food. And you can easily wear them all-year-round. Layer thick tights or stockings or even leggings under them for freezing cold winters and combine with a crop top in summer.

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FASHION QUICKY: COOKING VEGAN PANCAKES IN VEGAN & SUSTAINABLE UNDERWEAR SET + RECIPE!

Not my regular sustainable & vegan fashion quicky. This one comes with a healthy pancake recipe because why not?

Grey-blue bralette by Calida £43
Grey-blue bottoms by Calida £32

We don’t like to wear cruel silk underneath our clothes. We like vegan underwear instead, right? This Calida set is just as comfortable as the other underwear sets I’ve showed you (black set and blush pink set) which means you can wear it all day on a lazy vegan pancake Sunday. Calida is a sustainable loungewear, basics and underwear label that has a “Made in Green” collection that is OEKOTEX certified, sustainable and ethical. This set however, is not part of the Made in Green collection.

Healthy, vegan, glutenfree pancakes recipe

put in a blender:

-1 ripe & spotty banana
-approximately 1.5 cups of oats
-1 cup of water
-1 cup of plant milk OR 2 cups of water

Please, adjust the recipe if necessary. For me, it never turns out the same way everytime I do it. Just try to create a THICK & smooth batter that is not runny. That way you can fry the pancakes in a non-stick pan without oil (super healthy). If you want to use oil, it’ll be more likely that they pancakes turn out perfect and you don’t need to make sure the batter has the ideal consistency. You can also add cinnamon, stevia, blueberries chocolate chips, etc to the batter. Top it off with berries, banana, chocolate sauce, maple syrup, nut butter, cacao nibs – the possibilities are endless.

FAIR & VEGAN FASHION OUTFIT: OUT AND ABOUT IN LONDON

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Don’t feel like wearing heels? This is the ideal day-in-the-city outfit. Feel comfortable in the white vegan sneakers by Veja and the navy high waisted pants by Noumenon. Combined with the organic t-shirt spreading the gender equality message and a French blazer and you’ll still look put together while exploring the city. The pink pop of colour of the vegan bag makes this look a bit more fun.

Blazer by Ekyog (not available anymore but similar ones here)
Wo[men] supporting wo[men] #equality t-shirt £27.50
Navy high waisted pants by Noumenon €160
White vegan sneakers by Veja €80
earrings in silver by Naida C Castel €85
ear cuff by Naida C Castel €30
pink vegan bag by Labante £60

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The blazer

I’ve rolled up the sleeves to make the blazer look more casual and young. The grey colour with the pinkish stripes make the blazer look more fun and suitable for spring. It is made under ethical conditions by the French label Ekyog which I’m currently so obsessed with!  You’ll find other blazers in their online shop and cute jackets that are all ethically made.

The t-shirt

This t-shirt is everything! It looks minimal from far away but if you get closer you can read the “wo[men] supporting wo[men] #equality” message which is not printed but embroidered on the shirt. It is made under ethical conditions using renewable energy from organic cotton and is so high quality! Conscious Tee also has sweatshirts with the gender equality message on it so get your hands on them as long as their available!

The pants

I’ve been wearing these pants so often. They are a new staple. I love that there’s lots of room in the belly area so these should be your go-to bottoms when you’re going to have lots of food. Plus, the fabric belt they come with can adjust the waist to your needs. Noumenon is a PETA approved vegan label that manufactures ethically in Lithuania. The pants are made from a blend of organic cotton and a fabric called ramie.

The bag

This bag brightens up every outfit. The gold hardware looks so good with the screaming pink colour. It is PETA approved vegan and ethically made. The UK based brand Labante is my favourite vegan bag label. The bag has 3 compartments but doesn’t hold bigger items. It is perfect for days where you just want to spend the day in the city with your phone, some money, your ID, a lip gloss and your oyster card.

The shoes

I usually don’t wear athleisure wear that much and wearing trainers out on the street is not my personal style either. But these vegan white Veja sneakers are the right amount of casual yet sophisticated I think. Veja is a sneaker label that manufactures ethically and sustainably. So get your hands on some vegan sneakers for Spring and summer from them and contribute to a more environmentally-friendly world!

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The earrings

I’m wearing earrings and an ear cuff on one side (you can see it in the photo below). All pieces are by the label Naida C Castel which handcraft unique jewelry pieces from high-quality materials. I’ve been loving the combo of the earrings with the ear cuff lately. The ear cuff is actually just put on the ear so you don’t have to have your ear pierced (I also don’t have that part of my ear pierced). I love that since you can experiment with a bit of an edgier style without committing to piercing your ear. The earrings are unique since they give the appearance that they are miraculously floating under your ear.

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FAIR & VEGAN FASHION QUICKY: BLACK JUMPSUIT

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Fair, vegan & sustainable fashion quicky time! 1 look, 2 photos and just a few words. Let’s go:

Black jumpsuit by People Tree £95
Black stiletto boots by Love Sofie 

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The jumpsuit

I got this one a while ago (over a year ago I think) and it’s still available online! That’s the beauty of fair & slow fashion. This jumpsuit is made from 100% organic cotton and is for days where you want to look good without putting in the effort. Just put on this jumpsuit for a cute office look, special occasion look or wear it with sneakers for a more casual look. It comes with a bow but I skipped that one for this look. You can easily put in a vegan belt to change it up a bit.

The shoes

Vegan, ethically made, comfortable, timeless and chic. They’ll stay my favourites for a very long time as well I’m sure of that.

Spice up the outfit with accessories like delicate gold jewelry like I did or statement earrings and a cool purse.

SUSTAINABLE & VEGAN FASHION QUICKY: BLUSH PINK UNDERWEAR SET

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You should know how it goes by now: 1 look, 4 photos and just a few words.

Blush pink bralette (currently not available but similar ones here and here)
Blush pink bottoms by Calida £30

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This set is soft, comfortable and ideal to lounge around on a lazy Sunday (totally guilty of not wearing clothes when I’m lazy). Calida is a Swiss label that introduced the Made in Green label within their collections. This means that the Made in Green clothes are made sustainably and ethically and that the fashion is OEKOTEX certified. This set is however, not part of the Made in Green collection. The Sue bralette I’ve linked above is part of of the Made in Green colelction. Calida Switzerland is however, overall a sustainable label.

FAVOURITES OF THE MONTH (MARCH) – FASHION, TP(?!), BOOK, GYM & MORE

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I’ve been thinking of new blog posts to spice it up a little and after coming up with my FAIR & VEGAN FASHION QUICKY, I thought that it would be cool if I share my favourites of this previous month. I hope you like this new segment. I’m really excited and I can’t wait to introduce you to ethical, vegan and sustainable products and brands that make my heart skip a beat!

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Shoes of the month

I’ve been wearing those so often. They make every outfit look more chic. I even wore then with jeans and a t-shirt and instantly looked more put together. The brand was very new to me. Love Sofie is a young vegan shoe label that uses recycled and organic materials and manufactures under ethical conditions in the EU minimising their impact on the environment by decreasing transport time.
-Heels by Lovie Sofie 

Bag of the month

I had to force myself not using the same bag everyday because I love this one so much and would even mismatch an outfit with it. The design is classic yet the colour adds a touch of youth to it. I love how versatile the gold chain strap is. The label Labante is my favourite vegan bag label currently. The company manufacture under ethical conditions and try to minimise their environmental footprint by using recycled materials. They are PETA approved vegan so you don’t have to worry about non-vegan glues.
-Kelly bag in pink £115

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Gym + Onzie workout clothes

Just like the previous months, I loved going to the gym! Moving my body has been a must for me lately. A couple of months ago I started this deal with myself to workout 5 times a week. If I’m only able to go less than 5 times that’s still great but I needed to set this goal so that working out becomes a habit for me. I didn’t always reach the 5 times a week target but I worked out every week and felt happy doing it! That’s a huge win for me! What helped me feel good in my skin while working out are my new workout clothes by Onzie. They are ethically made in the USA and look and fit amazingly! They’ve motivated me to go to the gym because I was so excited to wear them. I’ve been looking for fair workout clothes for so long and was so happy to find this label. I’m wearing their sports bra and high waisted leggings in the photo below.
Ritz bra in black $48 and Royal Legging $78 by Onzie

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Book of the month

Here’s a confession: I haven’t been reading a lot of books in the last years. I loved reading books when I was a child and in my teen years but I’ve spent my time doing other more creative activities in the last years like taking photos with Max and myself. But this month Max surprised me with this book and I loved it! It’s called “Lean in” by Sheryl Sandberg. I’m sure some of you already know it and have read it already. It’s quite well known. It’s basically about women in work and as leaders as well as gender equality. I can highly recommend it to all you motivated bosses out there! It’s empowering and motivates you to take your career to the next level.
– Lean in – women, work and the will to lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Candle of the month

I received a huge package from Vegan Bunny this month filled with natural and vegan soy wax candles. I bought one of their candles a couple months ago and loved the scent, natural & vegan philosophy and design so I was so happy to try all the scents! I burned the Sweet Orange candle this month and it made my apartment smell like sweet orange indeed but not overpowering to the extent that you get headaches. Conventional candles contain paraffins that are linked to lung cancer and the scent is always too strong for me. ❌ Natural candles use natural ingredients that don’t cause cancer. 🙅‍♀️ That’s why I love Vegan Bunny candles. Plus, the new copper packaging looks so cute! 😍

Natural & vegan sweet orange candle by Vegan Bunny £10

Brand of the month

I want to take this section and write about companies that I love. I’m excited to introduce you to Who gives a crap who don’t just have the best company name ever but are also doing amazing things for the environment and people! This is not just any toilet paper brand. Let’s start with the most awesome fact about them: they donate 50% of their profit to help build toilets and improve sanitation globally! Why? Because 2.3 billion people don’t have access to a toilet and around 289,000 childrenunder five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation! That’s crap. So I love seeing a company that cares and makes a difference in the world. But that’s not all. Who gives a crap uses bamboo and recycled paper to make their toilet paper instead of virgin trees which saves water, energy and lots of trees! Plus, they send a huge box of plastic-free toilet paper right to your home! That’s great if you are too lazy to go shopping (a.k.a me) and if you want to decrease your plastic consumption. And for my health conscious people out there: Who gives a crap toilet paper is made without chemical inks, dyes or scents. Last but not least: how freaking cute is the plastic-free packaging!

-Bamboo toilet paper by Who gives a crap (get £5 or $10 (USA, AU) off with discount code LIVIAVANH)

FAIR & VEGAN FASHION QUICKY: ALL BLACK OUTFIT

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Here’s a fair, vegan & sustainable fashion quicky for you. 2 photos, 3 fair fashion pieces and just a few words – let’s get started.

Sweater by Armed Angels €70
Black tassel pants by Reformation (not available anymore but similar ones here)
Black stiletto boots by Love Sofie
old beret

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The sweater

Since I’m lacking basic sweaters I just borrowed my boyfriends organic cotton sweater. It honestly looks so good on women too. It’s totally unisex!

The pants

Those are not available anymore unfortunately but Reformation has great clothes in general and I’ve linked other black Reformation pants above.

The shoes

Vegan, ethical and KILLER. I love those stiletto boots and they make this simple outfit interesting. They also very comfortable.

FAIR & VEGAN FASHION OUTFIT: CROP TOP & KILLER HEELS

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Blazer by Ekyog (not available anymore but similar ones)
Crop top by Noumenon €55
High waisted pants in navy by Noumenon €160
Black stiletto boots by Love Sofie

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The pants

I got these at a fair fashion sample sale in London (wrote about the sample sale here) and I love them since. I LOVE anything high waisted and cropped and these pants are super super high waisted. Plus, they are so comfortable. Lots of room for food bellies so they are perfect for dinner dates. I actually wore them for dinner on Valentine’s day.  The label manufactures only vegan and ethically made fashion. The pants are made from organic cotton

The top

I had an eye on this top for sooooo long. The fair fashion sample sale in London was the perfect occasion to try it on and get it for a reduced price. After seeing how well it fits I had to get it. As I said, I love crop tops and this one is made from surplus furniture fabric so it’s totally sustainable. It’s ethically made in Lithuania. Be careful though, the straps are really thin and are not made from a stretchy material. I’ve been wearing the straps a little too tightly and one of them ripped. I just sewed it back on (by hand) and it was as good as new but just so you know.

The blazer

One of my current favourites. It matches every outfit and adds a sophisticated touch to the outfit. Plus it covers you up a bit more since the crop top with the super thin straps would be a little cold by itself (perfect for summer though). The blazer is ethically made.

The shoes

These stiletto boots are comfortable, vegan and look killer. They’re my favourite heels at the moment. I’m definitely excited for future Love Sofie shoes! They are perfect for night outs or the office or to simply spice up any outfit. A must for vegan high heel lovers. They are ethically made in the EU.

SUSTAINABLE & ETHICAL UNDERWEAR + my thoughts on basics & wired bras

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Black bralette by Saint Basics €30
Black brazilian bottoms by Saint Basics €18

 

From trendy to basic?

I’ve been writing about this topic a little in previous blog posts. When I first started this vegan, ethical & sustainable fashion journey I was always on the hunt for fair fashion that looked like the trendy fast fashion. I quickly got frustrated when I couldn’t find a trend in all the ethical fashion online shops. That was actually the reason why I started my fair fashion Instagram and blog. I wanted to show that – although it is hard to find – ethical fashion CAN look good. I wanted to find all the hidden gems from those fair fashion brands and show them to you so that you don’t have to. After a while (and after moving to a tiny 17m2apartment in London with a tiny closet) I got rid of a lot of my old and unworn clothes and had a closet filled with mostly fair fashion. I slowly realised that I prefer a more classic and timeless look over a funky and trendy look. I started my hunt for those perfect timeless yet ethically made basics.

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The power of basics

High waisted jeans, white t-shirts, blazers, black pants, black turtlenecks, and white/black/nude underwear – those are the essentials in a closet. Those are the ones that you’ll have a lifetime. Those are the pieces you’ll build an outfit with. Those are the pieces you can combine with those trendy pieces to make it look more put together. Those are also the pieces you’ll grab when you have no time to look put together. Let’s look at a case study 😜: When I go to lectures at my uni I keep it simple. I don’t dress up to work on statistics for carbon density in biomass. While I’ve just put on an XL sweatshirt and joggers in my first year of universty, I do still want to feel somewhat human when I go to university now. That’s when those basics come in handy. I have my own selection of uniforms that I grab and go: jeans + black turtleneck, jeans + white t-shirt (+ blazer), jeans + nude turtleneck, high waisted navy pants + long sleeve, etc. Combined with my big & classic black vegan Alexandra K bag, a black coat and black vegan derby shoes I feel comfortable yet good in my skin.

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Lace & garters vs. bralettes & stretch?

When it comes to underwear I’ve learned the same thing. While I love the aesthetics of lacey push-up bras, they are too uncomfortable and delicate for everyday. Plus, you need basic underwear sets in white, black and nude so that you’ll have underwear that doesn’t show under your clothes. Maybe this is too TMI for you but I’ve given up wired bras and push-up bras a few years ago and wear mostly bralettes nowadays. They are healthier for your lymph system (watch a video about wired bras and their effect on your body here) and they don’t make your breasts soggier longterm because your muscles don’t work that much when wearing wired bras. Bralettes give you the right amount of support. Now, I think the easiest way to buy ethical fashion is to buy basics. There are great organic, fair and vegan t-shirts, long sleeves and bralettes out there.

This bralette and brazilian bottoms set is made ethically from eucalyptus which is a vegan silk-like material that is softer than cotton. The label focusses on basics.

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FAIR & VEGAN FASHION OUTFIT: TIMELESS SPRING LOOK

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I know, I know. I haven’t posted as much fair, vegan & sustainable fashion-related content lately. Even though outfit posts are my vegan guide favourite type of blog posts and actually the reason why I started my blog, I just had so many other blog posts that I wanted to do and that were highly requested like my vegan guide or the 30 facts about me. But now to the outfit. It’s vegan, fair & sustainable as always.

Blazer by Ekyog (not available anymore but similar ones)
White t-shirt by Vatter €40
Jeans by Armed Angels €100
Shoes by Mireia Playa (not available anymore but similar ones)
Pink bag by Labante
Pink vegan silk scarf by JAN ‘N JUNE €35
Bracelets by Labante

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The bag is my current favourite. The blush pink colour brightens up my dark (mostly black) outfits and the pink vegan silk scarf fits perfectly with the bag. I love the chain strap detailing of the bag because I can adjust the length of the chain. The shoes are from last season and I like them a lot. They are very comfortable yet still give you a little height with that chunky heel. I feel like they look like shoes a designer like Prada would do but without the cruelty. They are vegan and ethically made.

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You probably know the jeans by now. Organic, vegan, sustainable and ethically made by Armed Angels. I know it is a little pricey. But it is my only pair of jeans (except some old American  Apparel ones that are way too big on me now) and I wear them SOOO often. It is hard to find a vegan and good-looking high waisted pair of jeans that are ethically made. I can recommend these ones.
The blazer is another favourite of mine. A new one though. I’ve been looking for an ethically made pantsuit for so long. Then I found the label Ekyog and was so happy to find this blazer. It is a tiny bit too big on me since (I think) I lost a little weight from working out more often (I don’t weigh myself) so I bought my regular size which turned out to be not my size anymore. But it still looks super cute and I’ve been wearing it so often since I got the blazer and matching pants.
I cannot say it enough. Do the planet, animals and people a favour and by yourself a fair & sustainable white t-shirt. This one is by Vatter and is made from GOTS certified organic cotton. You’ll wear it so often and feel good about your choice everytime you’ll wear it.

 

Vegan & fair winter look in Vienna + help animals through the winter this year!

Amalfi Twist Top by Essentials for Zula €29.16
Anthea Bralette by Essentials for Zula €26.40
Leggings by Yoiqi €39
Luxe Derbys in Black by Wills Vegan Shoes €90
Cap old
Coat old

The top & bra
I love wearing white in winter. It’s a nice change to all the black clothing and the dark and cold days. This top is soft and comfortable and reveals the gorgeous white bralette in the back. Essentials for Zula is an Austrian label that manufactures in Thailand.

The leggings
I’ve featured these Yoiqi leggings already in my vegan, fair & sustainable workout outfit post and they are so comfortable and soft! the add a nice grey colour to the blacks and whites and are perfect for those cozy Sundays and dog walking! They are made ethically manufactured in Egypt from organic Jersey-cotton with 5% elastic material.

Now to my announcement!

Sarah (@mssarahsam on Instagram, here is her blog) and I wanted to do a project together that helps animals for a while now and we finally came up with a great way! We contacted an animal sanctuary in Austria and asked if we can help them. The “Wiener Tierschutzverein Vösendorf” animal sanctuary, gave us an insight in their animal rescue shelter and we promised them to help them out with much-needed food donations. Sarah and I agreed on setting up an Amazon wishlist with all the food and other things the animals there desperately need and YOU can now purchase anything you want from that wishlist and it will go directly to the animals! We made sure there are different price ranges so you can decide how much you want to donate!

We’ve also visited the animal sanctuary which I’ve written about our visit and details on the animal sanctuary including lots of photos in another blog post!

So if you want to contribute to helping poor animals, here’s the link to the wishlist:

AMAZON WISHLIST

FAIR & VEGAN FASHION OUTFIT: SPICY CURRY SKIRT FOR MARCH

I know, I know. It’s been forever since I posted an outfit look on my blog. Even though outfit posts are my favourite type of posts here and are actually the reason why I started this blog, there were so many other blog posts I wanted to do first that were also highly requested like my vegan guide, the 30 facts about me and the fashion industry explained post.

After weeks and weeks of no new fair & vegan fashion posts, I’m back with lots of new looks starting with this badass outfit with that pop of colour for those cold winter months. Vegan, fair and sustainable fashion can look THAT good.

Navy blue blouse by HESSNATUR (€100)
Camel pencil skirt by R.E.V. (£120)
Vegan black bucket bag by TRAGWERT (€69)
Vegan stiletto boots by Love Sofie  (€180)
Vintage Chanel earrings
Golden bracelet by Labante (£55)
Rings by Diana Ho Design

The blouse


I like fashion that is comfortable yet elegant and this blouse gives me that look. It is flowy and gives you lots of room, by tucking into the skirt it creates a whole different style. Finding a vegan blouse can be a challenge so I was excited to find this vegan silk-look-a-like blouse that is ethically made in Portugal.

The skirt


I love the Rêve-en-vert online shop for finding stunning fair fashion labels. The shop has the most high-end pieces and a great selection of ethically made fashion which is why I loved finding out that they started their first in-house fashion line “R.E.V”. They use ethical and upcycled materials to create their own capsule collection. While a lot of pieces are made from animal materials, I was happy to find some vegan items including this tight pencil skirt in that gorgeous camel colour. It is high waisted and skin tight to accentuate your curves while having a sophisticated length. It is sexy yet elegant. A true eye-catcher and breath taker.

The shoes


Let’s be honest. It can be challenging finding cute, vegan and ethically made shoes. Finding vegan heels is even a bigger struggle. But worry no more, Love Sofie has got you covered. Their heels are killer while not killing any animals. These classic stiletto boots got me screaming when I first held them in my hands. Perfect for any occasion. Damn, I’d wear them to my uni field trips if I could. Lol. Jokes aside, They complete this elegant and cute look making my legs look a mile high. Love Sofie is a sustainable and vegan shoe label that uses plant leather instead of PVC for a more sustainable approach to vegan leather and also explores materials such as recycled polyester, organic cotton and recylced denim. They manufacture ethically in the European Union.

The bag


Just like vegan shoes, vegan bags are another rarity. When it comes to vegan bags, the material should look as much as leather and expensive as possible in my opinion. This Tragwert bucket bag in classic black looks like a timeless designer handbag and the material feels luxurious and soft. I’ve personally carried my MacBook Air to university with it and went to the pub for a social. It’s the ideal addition for your capsule wardrobe. Tragwert is a German vegan bag label that manufactures PETA-approved handbags using sustainable materials.

Fair & green energy by Our Power & my tips to save energy

Here on my blog I try to inspire people to live a more ethical and sustainable lifestyle. I’ve been sharing lots of ethical & sustainable outfits and fashion brands with you, I’ve shared my guide to become vegan, my guide to reduce your waste and much more. There are lots of ways to live a more ethical and sustainble lifestyle and I’m always up for challenging my own lifestyle to become more ethical.

While my closet is filled with fair and green fashion, my bathroom is equipped with natural cosmetics and my fridge is stuffed with healthy, environmentally-friendly vegan foods, I haven’t thought about where my energy comes from.

Do you know where your energy comes from?

We use energy daily and constantly. It is an important aspect of our modern everyday lives. Without energy I couldn’t use my laptop and smartphone to work on blog posts and social media content. Yet when I moved to my new flat in fall I didn’t think of what kind of energy I’m using and if it is ethical. This is why I was so excited about to learn about Our Power.

I think we all agree that renewable and green energy is the way to go. But is green energy more expensive? You all know that I’m advocating that a more sustainable and ethical lifestyle doesn’t have to be more expensive and that there are always alterantives and ways to even save money! Our Power’s tariffs use renewable energy as part of the OFGEM generation mix. The company is transparent about their energy source and intends to make all tariffs green. The proportion of renewables recently have been high:

Wind
Solar
Hydro
Gas
Nuclear
Coal
Bioenergy
Pumped Storage
Interconnectors (Imports)
Oil

Their new +IMPACT tariff is a 100% green AND ETHICAL energy tariff. The not-for-profit energy supplier knows their energy sources and buy from community-owned energy schemes and renewable sources in the UK, where possible.

 

While Our Power wants to supply greener energy, their mission is also to make household energy more affordable! How?  By not paying dividends to shareholders, by finding the most efficient ways to operate, by generating their own power and by reinvesting any profits to benefit the customers and communities.

FUEL POVERTY – HEAT OR EAT?

Our Power is owned by social housing providers, community organisations and local authorities. Their idea is to maintain a low price so that they can provide green and affordable energy to low income households or those in risk of fuel poverty. What is fuel poverty you may ask?
Over four million households in the UK live in fuel poverty, meaning that they regularly have to make the choice between eating a hot meal or heating their home.

Our Power wants to make the energy market fairer and fight inequality. The more customers switch to the +IMPACT tariff, the more Our Power can maintain the lowest prices for customers at risk of fuel poverty. “Put into numbers, for every home that switches to the +Impact tariff, Our Power can offer an affordable tariff to a lower income or fuel-poor household, helping them heat their home for an average of 54 more days than they could for the same price on a Big 6 standard variable tariff.”

SAVING ENERGY

Changing to a renewable energy provider isn’t all you can do. Trying to save energy in your everyday life makes a difference in costs and the environment. Our Power will deliver ways to help you manage fuel costs.

“A smart meter in your home will enable us to offer personal, tailored and confidential advice on the best ways to get value for money from energy used in your home, to stay warm and to save money. You will easily see how much energy you are using and how much you are spending.”

My own advice for easy ways to save energy

When Max and I moved to the new flat we immediately changed the light bulbs to LED light bulbs which are more environmentally-friendly and save energy (and therefore costs). Further ways to save energy include:

  • closing windows when turning on the heat
  • washing your laundry on a cold setting (this is also better for your beloved fashion items so that you can wear them longer) and in a full load
  • air dry your clothes rather than using a dryer
  • check your fridge settings and adjust the settings when it is set too cold than necessary
  • plug your home electronics into power strips and turn the power strips off when you don’t use them

 

FAIR & VEGAN FASHION OUTFIT: Valentine’s day love

Valentine’s day 2018 is part of the past but I think everyone needs a little reminder of the day of love.

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Red crop top by AWARE (no longer available)
High waisted pants by NOUMENON
Rosy pink bag by LABANTE
Black stiletto boots by LOVE SOFIE

The top


I wore this red crop top a lot this summer and neglected it during those colder months. But for that hot Valentine’s day date I decided that the flaming red colour would be the perfect spicy eye-catcher I wanted. The Spanish label are known for their firey “made in Barcelona” clothing with a young design. Unfortunately, Aware doesn’t sell the exact top  anymore but you can find lots of similar tops.

The pants


I decided to go for a more comfortable and casual look rather than a full-on glam outfit. I got these Noumenon pants from the fair fashion sample sale in London. They are high waisted so that you can wear them with a crop top and comfortable and spacious so you can lots of food (need that room for my vegan food belly). It ties in the front giving it a cute touch.

The bag


I’ve been looking for a classic small vegan bag for so long. This pink Labante bag with gold hardware had to be my clutch for V-day. I added some more pink by attaching a vegan silk scarf by JAN’N JUNE.

The shoes

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I love any occasion to wear heels. I don’t wear them that often anymore as a full-time student and blogger working from home. These vegan and sustainable stilettos are comfortable to walk in and ideal for the cold February weather.

GERMAN + ENGLISH – My day at the animal sanctuary – help out animals with your donation!

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My bff Sarah and I have been wanting to help animals by doing our own little project for quite a while now. Eventually, Sarah came up with the idea of putting together a wishlist on Amazon for an animal sanctuary so that people can buy food for the animals which will be sent directly to the rescue shelter. That way every donation is going to the animals to 100%.

We loved the idea so much and started preparing immediately. After lots of organisational work, we finally collaborated with the local animal sanctuary in Austria and planned our visit there when I was in Vienna. You can read about our visit down below. But first, please look at the link to the Amazon wishlist and consider donating some food to the animals. YOU can brighten up an animal’s life with just a few euros!

Click here to get to
THE AMAZON WISHLIST

 

Once we arrived there we’ve been greeted by Oliver, one of their employees. He showed us the whole area, told us lots of information about the sanctuary and answered all of our questions. The animal rescue shelter is 2000m2big and actually is in the need for renovations. They struggle with mold and humidity. There are over 80 employees and lots of animals that have to be fed daily. Every financial transaction is financed by donations. They fully depend on donations.

The animals there are mostly brought to them by pet owners who don’t want to have them anymore or are unable to care for them anymore. There have been cases of animals that simply haven’t been fed by their owners anymore and given to them. There are also sick animals that have been found in the wild or on the streets that have been brought to them to get healthy again and be let free to the wild again. At this point, Oliver told us that it can be problematic when people give them wild animals that are thought to be sick but are actually not. He advices to call first and ask for advice or inform yourself first if the animal is really sick. Even though it was an emotional visit, the animal sanctuaries in countries like Hungary or Croatia are worse. They are actually killing centres. Therefore, there are lots of rescued animals from Hungary or Croatia at Austrian rescue shelters as well. One case shocked me especially. There was a smuggling of over 600 turtles at the Croatian border. Over 100 of the turtles didn’t make the transport and died. The rest of the animals were put in animal sanctuaries all over Europe.
There are also animals at the shelter that were given to them to care for by a pet owner during the owner’s holiday. However, lots of pet owners don’t pick up their animals anymore after their “holiday”.

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There are dogs, cats, mice, rabbits, birds, sheep, pigs, turtles, monkey, reptiles, fish and more living at the sanctuary. Some animals get adopted, especially puppies, “trendy” dog breeds, young and healthy ones. However, most of the old, sick, calm and dark coloured dogs and other animals stay at the sanctuary their whole life until they die. The employees train the dogs to be comfortable in everyday life environments. They even have a practice car to train the dogs to get in and out of cars and a practice living room to make them comfortable in indoor environments. Some animals are trained for therapies with elderlies. They are especially calm and help older people with their mental health.

The sanctuary also offer partnerships where people can donate €30 per month to play with a dog regularly. They also offer a partnership where you can get to know your dog of choice and are able to adopt it after you made up your mind. You can choose the animal that you want. However, the team at the sanctuary will ask for your lifestyle and current situation and assess if your chosen dog fits to your life. They won’t give a young, strong and playful dog to an old man who can barely walk for example.

DEUTSCH/ GERMAN

Meine Freundin Sarha und ich wollten schon lange Tieren helfen und unser eigenes kleines Tierprojekt starten. Im Dezember kam Sarah dann auf die Idee eine Amazon Wunschliste für ein Tierheim zu erstellen, damit Leute Futter und andere wichtige Dinge direkt an das Heim spenden können und wissen, das ihre Spende zu 100% an die Tiere geht.

Wir beide liebten die Idee sofort und haben gleich mit der Planung begonnen. Nach etlichen Stunden Organisationsarbeit, ist eine Kooperation mit dem Wiener Tierschutzverein Vösendorf zustande gekommen. Wir besuchten das Tierschutzhaus dann gleich am 19.2. nachdem ich in Wien angekommen bin. Du kannst unten über unseren Besuch lesen, aber zuerst möchte ich dich bitten dir den unteren Link zu der Amazon Wunschliste anzusehen. Die Tiere würden sich so über deine Tierfutterspende freuen und alles, was du tun musst, ist nur für ein paar Euro über Amazon Futter bestellen!

KLICKE HIER UM ZUR
AMAZON WUNSCHLISTE ZU GELANGEN!

Als wir beim Tierschutzhaus ankamen, begrüßte uns Oliver, der Zuständige für PR. Er zeigte uns das ganze Gelände und informierte uns bis ins kleinste Detail. Auch unsere Fragen beeantwortete er mit Geduld. Das Tierschutzheim ist 2000m2 großund ist definitiv baufällig. Das Heim hat mit Schimmel und Feuchtigkeit zu kämpfen.
Es arbeiten über 80 Angestellte dort und es leben viele Tiere dort, die täglich gefüttert werden müssen. Finanzierung läuft zu 100% über Spenden. Das Heim ist vollkommen auf Spenden angewiesen.

Die Tiere werden oft von ihren Besitzern ins Heim gebracht, weil sie die Tiere nicht mehr wollen oder nicht mehr halten können. Oliver erzählte uns auch von Fällen, bei denen die Tiere einfach nicht mehr gefüttert wurden und von den Besitzern hergebracht wurden. Es gibt auch viele kranke Tiere, die auch teilweise in der Wildnis oder auf der Straße gefunden wurden und zum Tierschutzhaus gebracht wurden, um wieder gesund gepfelgt zu werden und ausgewildert zu werden.  Dazu erzählte Oliver uns auch, dass es problematisch sein kann, wenn Leute ihnen gesunde Tiere bringen, weil sie sich zu wenig auskennen. Er empfiehlt hier das Heim vorher anzurufen und nach Rat zu fragen, wie man kranke Tiere erkennen kann. Voher informieren sei hier sehr wichtig!
Obwohl der Besuch sehr emotional war, so sind die Tierheime in Ländern wie Ungarn oder Kroatien schlimmer. Diese Heime sind Tötungsstationen. Regelmäßig versuchen Tierheime in Österreich Tiere von diesen Tötungsstationen zu retten und bei sich auf zunehmen. Ein Fall schockte mich besonders. An der kroatischen Grenze wurde ein Schmuggel-Transporter aufgehalten, der über 600 Schildkröten versucht hat zu schmuggeln. Über 100 Schildkröten haben den Transport nicht überlebt. Die restlichen Schildkröten wurden überall in Europa in Tierheimen untergebracht.
Es gibt auch Tiere, die von ihren Besitzern ins Heim zur pflege gebracht werden, wenn der Besitzer auf Urlaub fliegt. Leider werden diese Tiere oft nicht wieder abgeholt.

Es gibt Hunde, Katzen, Kaninchen, Schafe, Schildkröten, Schweine, Vögel, Fische, Reptilien, Affen und noch mehr im Tierheim. Manche Tiere werden adoptiert –  ganz besonders Welpen, Jungtiere, “Moderassen” und gesunde Tiere. Leider verbringen jedoch oft die alten, kranken, ruhigen und dunklen Hunde und andere Tiere ihr restliches Leben im Heim und sterben auch dort.
Die Angestellten trainieren die Hunde, damit sie sich in einem Alltagsleben des Menschen wohl fühlen. Es gibt ein Trainingsauto, in dem sie das Ein-und Aussteigen trainieren und ein Container, der wie ein Wohnzimmer eingerichtet ist, sodass die Hunde auf das Leben in einer Wohnung oder einem Haus trainiert werden. Es gibt sogar Therapietiere, die auf alte Menschen trainiert sind und bei Besuchen in Altersheimen eingesetzt werden.

Das Tierschutzhaus Vösendorf bietet Partnerschaften an, bei der man €30 pro Monat spenden kann und mit Hunden regelmäßig spielen kann. Man kann sich das Tier aussuchen, aber das Team schätzt ein, ob der zukünftige Besitzer und dessen Lebensstil mit dem Tier zusammenpassen. Das Heim wird zum Beispiel keinen jungen und verspielten Hund einem älteren Herren vermitteln, der kaum gehen kann.

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A DAY IN MY LIFE: FAIR FASHION SAMPLE SALE IN LONDON & VEGAN DOUGHNUTS

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If you are buying fair fashion yourself, then you might know that it’s super hard to purchase ethically-made clothes and fashion pieces in an actual shop. There are some boutiques here and there but I myself always buy my fashion online. I personally love the convenience of online shopping but it does have an obvious disadvantage: you cannot try on the clothes.

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That’s why I was so excited when Cossac, a fair fashion label that I’ve been loving for quite a while now, invited me to the ECO HOT sample sale in London. Four fair fashion labels –  Noumenon, Cossac, AmaElla and Naida C. Castel – put together a little sample sale in the vegan Canvas Café at Brick Lane London.
I’ve dragged my boyfriend with me and spent a wonderful time talking to the founders of these amazing brands, trying on ethically-made fashion and looking through the beautiful designs. It doesn’t happen every day that you get the chance talk about the origin of fabrics and hear the personal stories behind fashion brands and fair products. The founder of Noumenon talked about the idea of using reclaimed furniture fabrics for her jackets, the creator of AmaElla showed me her GOTS certified organic lingerie and sleepwear pieces, Naida introduced to me her newest handmade jewelry collection and Agata told me the story how she met Naida (Naida was modelling for COSSAC when Agata found out that Naida has a jewelry label) while talking about COSSAC pieces. That’s what fair fashion is about. It’s so much more personal than fast fashion. There are faces and stories behind every fashion item.

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I couldn’t resist taking some pieces home with me and even Max took the opportunity to gift me a Naida C. Castel jewelry piece as a pre-Valentine’s day present.

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After that amazing shopping experience, Max and I had to celebrate with some vegan doughnuts at Crosstown. We had one matcha doughnut but our favourite was definitely the vanilla glazed one which is why Max haaaaad to get two. 😉

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bag by Labante & vegan pink silk scarf by JAN’N JUNE (currently only blue version available)

After our Sunday at Brick Lane we went home and I immediately showed my new ethical fashion goodies on my Instagram story and did a little try-on haul.

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30 FACTS ABOUT ME

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Last week I’ve asked you on my Instagram story what blog post you want to see on my blog and the poll concluded that lots of people want to know some facts about me! Plus, I’ve been nominated to do the 5 facts about me tag which you can find when you scroll through my Instagram. I’ve revealed further 5 facts about me 😉
I’m always surprised that people would want to read about me but hey, why not! Some of the facts are answers to questions people asked me. So let’s get right into it – 30 random facts about me:

  1. I’ve been vegan since January 2014.
  2. I have an older brother called Justin (which is short for his birth name Justinian).
  3. No one in my family is vegan.
  4. My boyfriend Max and I went to the same school and were in the same class from age 15-19.
  5. I’ve been in a relationship with Max since 2012.
  6. I’ve done pole dancing once a week for over one year.
  7. I love to eat healthy but I do eat vegan junk food occasionally.
  8. I’ve had long hair my whole teenage years and cut them chin length when I was 20.
  9. I’ve donated over 50cm of my hair to the Little Princess Trust.
  10. I’m 170 cm tall.
  11. I don’t own a scale and only weigh myself once or twice a year.
  12. I’ve struggled with eating disorders during my whole teenage years.
  13. I had 2 hamsters “Phoebe” and “Remi” during my childhood years.
  14. I don’t want to own pets now or in the future.
  15. I’m studying Environmental Science at the Queen Mary University of London (which is the same uni where my boyfriend studies Business Management)
  16. I was never athletic and now that I’m going to the gym regularly, I’m the most athletic I’ve ever been.
  17. I’d rather stay at home and watch Netflix with Max than go on a night out.
  18. I’m a huge procrastinator when it comes to tasks I don’t like/ want to do.
  19. I love Musicals, vintage movies (Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Barbara Streisand and Co) and my favourite motivational song is “Don’t Rain On My Parade” by the queen Barbara Streisand.
  20. I’ve always loved fashion but my passion for it has never been stronger than now.
  21. I’ve been struggling with anxiety, depression, social anxiety and mental health issues my whole life.
  22. I’m an introvert and quiet when you meet me and more chatty, loud and passionate once we’re friends.
  23. It takes ages for me to get warm with people and accept them as friends
  24. I love eating vegan food and I never restrict myself. When I’m hungry, I eat and I don’t count calories.
  25. My best friend is Sarah and we’ve been in the same class from 2011 – 2016 as well.
  26. Sarah and I decided to try eating vegan together and are both vegan since then.
  27. I cry easily and often and I love it. 😉
  28. I am vegan because there are too many reasons that animal products harm your health, the environment and the animals. So I don’t see a reason not to be vegan. But I originally became vegan for my health.
  29. For the future I’d like to continue blogging/ Instagram as a part time job on the weekend and during the week I’d like to work for a sustainability consultancy or an NGO.
  30. When I’m done with university, I’d like to move to Germany, Switzerland or Austria with my boyfriend.

How to eat vegan – my starter guide for a healthier, more environmentally-friendly and cruelty-free diet + FAQs answered!

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I’ve been getting lots of message on Instagram since I’ve shared my vegan food pics on the social media platform. The most questions I get are “how can I eat vegan?”, “can you give me advice on what to eat as a vegan” or “can you give me recipes for vegan food”. I love seeing people being interested in veganism and I love when people message me to connect with me on my favourite topics! However, I always find it hard to answer their questions. I’ve been vegan for over 4 years now which is basically all my adult life. I’ve been cooking for me, my boyfriend and my mum since I was 16. Mainly because I knew that veganism was a new concept to my mother and I didn’t want to be burden on her but I also wanted to take the control and cook the food that I researched myself. My mother and boyfriend liked the food that I prepared and we started to cook vegan food together – one of my favourite teenage memories!
After 4 years of vegan cooking, I have my go-to meals that I now prepare for my boyfriend and me and I rarely experiment with new dishes anymore because it makes everyday life just a little bit too complicated. Because eating vegan is actually not different to eating animal products. Yes, you reduce cruelty, environmental impact and negative impact on your health but it is just a diet which means people still have different preferences when it comes to taste, people still enjoy certain national cuisines better than others and people still want their food to be quick and simple.

Therefore, when someone asks me what they can eat as a vegan, I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed. I want to explain that everyone likes different food and veganism is not an exception and that I can tell them what I cook for myself but if they don’t like that, doesn’t mean that they don’t like vegan food – they just don’t like my vegan food. I think people that are new to the concept of eating vegan don’t know yet that there’s actually
A LOT of vegan food in the world:

LIST OF VEGAN FOOD:

all fruits (apple, banana, orange, pomegranate, mango, grape, …)
all vegetables (cucumber, zucchini, aubergine, asparagus, corn, mushrooms, lettuce, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, paprika…)
lots of types of pasta (spaghetti, penne, farfalle, …)
all types of rice and grains (couscous, quinoa, polenta, bulgur, …)
all beans (kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas,
all types of lentils (red, green, brown, …)
all nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, cashews …)
all seeds (sesame, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, …)
lots of types of bread (baguette, pita breads, naan breads, flat breads, sourdough breads, ciabatta breads, pizza breads, …)
basic staples (like sugar, all types of flours, coffee, cacao, herbs, spices, oats, teas, …)
plant milk (soy, almond, cashew, rice, oat, hemp, coconut)
plant-based non-dairy products (yoghurt, desserts, cheeses, ice creams, creamers, …)
plant-based mock meats
other foods (like corn for popcorn, tofu, seitan, maple syrup, dried fruit …)
sauces and condiments (ketchup, curry pastes, tomato sauces, sweet chili sauces, soy sauces, chutneys, mustards, nut butters (tahini, peanut butter,…), …)
junk food (like oreo cookies, other types of cookies, cakes, chips/crisps, already-made popcorn, pringles, …)
beverages (juices, ice tea, coffee, soft drinks like cola, sprite, …., alcoholic drinks like wines, beers, vodka, whiskey, …)

AND THE LIST GOES ON AND ON… These are just the foods I could think of right now but there’s so much more!

So now, can you believe me that it’s difficult for me to tell someone what to eat as a vegan? The possibilities are endless! It is simply not possible to tell you 5 recipes that you can cook so that you become vegan because you probably like completely different foods than I do and there’s too much vegan food out there that you won’t be eating then. It is better to learn what foods are vegan and which ones are not and then figuring out recipes on your own!

Vegan versions

I always recommend people to google vegan recipes versions of their favourite foods:
Do you love hamburgers and fries? –Vegan burger with fries
Do you love Nasi Goreng? –Vegan Nasi Goreng
Do you love indian curries? –Vegan indian curries
Do you love risotto? –vegan vegetable risotto


I think you get the idea. And even if you want to make a vegan risotto, there are hundreds of different vegan risotto recipes out there!
People also get quite surprised when I tell them that most cultures around the world already have their own traditionally vegan dishes :
Middle eastern countries: Falafel pita
Greece: fava, courgette balls, stuffed vine leaves, giant beans, …
India: vegetable curries, Samosa, …
Europe/ USA: french fries/ chips
China: Tofu & vegetable dishes
Japan: avocado/ cucumber/ vegetable maki, vegetable noodle dishes like zaru soba
Thailand: mango sticky rice, coconut ice cream,
Italy: sorbets, the traditional & original Marinara pizza (pizza base+ tomato sauce with herbs), the traditional Napolitana tomato sauce pasta
Morocco: vegetable tajine
…and more!

So here are my tips for getting started with a vegan diet:

  1. research what foods are vegan and which ones are not (by reading ingredient lists on the foods, by using google (or even better Ecosia) to research if a food is vegan) to have an understand of what you can eat and what not!
  2. research what vegan “processed foods” are available in your area (foods like vegan ice creams, vegan milks, vegan meats, vegan sweets, …) so that you can treat yourself with them or even make the transition easier
  3. research vegan versions of your favourite recipes and try them out! Have fun in the kitchen! Starting a vegan diet means that you unlearn what you know about food and relearn your eating behaviour!
  4. get in your new vegan routine: when you know what foods are vegan and when you know what your favourite vegan dishes are, you can now write your grocery lists with all the food that you need for breakfast, lunch and dinner, buy only these foods and get in the habit of cooking your vegan dishes
  5. BONUS: now that you’re in your every-day life routine, you can explore how to eat vegan in restaurants and how to eat vegan when you travel. Researching online definitely helps for finding out the traditional vegan food in foreign countries, the vegan restaurants in foreign countries and the vegan options at your local restaurants. I always love exploring vegan food when I’m traveling (here’s my favourite website to find vegan restaurants all around the world)! And I have a vegan guide to Paris and Cyprus and even a review to a restaurant in Ubud and Vienna.
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I think I’m going to share my favourite vegan recipes with you too so stay tuned for that! But as I said, you can get inspiration for vegan recipes everywhere on the internet!

Karine Jackson hair & beauty salon + hair stories

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Max and I wanted to get a haircut for a while now. But we didn’t get an appointment when we were in Vienna and I just haven’t found a salon in London that I liked. But especially Max needed to go to a salon urgently since his hair was dyed and his roots were showing majorly! Over two years ago he decided to dye his hair and he had grey, white and blonde hair since then. I had my hair cut from super long to super short in December 2016 and donated my hair to the Little Princess Trust. Since then I’ve only been to a hairdresser in summer 2017 because I wanted to let my hair grow a little to see what length I like. In January my hair was a little shorter than shoulder length and had a very blunt and straight cut. Nothing fancy. When you scroll through my Instagram feed, you can see that I didn’t do much to it. I have naturally curly/ wavy hair which I don’t like that much so I straightened it with the blowdryer and maybe my straightener and sometimes I curled it a little bit with a curling iron to achieve more structured curls. It was time for a change – for both of us. That’s why I was so excited when I got the offer to visit the Karine Jackson hair & beauty salon with Max. I got a treatment and cut and Max got a cut and got his hair dyed again. It was very exciting for him since he decided he wanted to dye it brown, his natural hair colour, again.

From my Instagram story, before we went to Karine Jackson hair salon:

 

The salon

Karine Jackson is a hair and beauty salon located on 24 Litchfield Street in London that uses vegan, organic and natural hair care products. I myself only use natural products on my hair so the Karine Jackson salon got me very excited. The Australian founder, Karine Jackson herself, who won the British hairdresser of the year award in 2007, introduced an organic colour range called “Organic Colour System” to her salon in Covent Garden London. This was very interesting for Max since his hair dresser in Vienna was brilliant in his work but never used organic or natural products.

 

The salon has a huge variety of hair services: hair colour, cuts, styling, perming, straightening, volumising, colour correction, wedding hair and male hair services. The salon has two floors and when downstairs they offer a variety of beauty services including face treatments, nails, body treatments, lashes, brows, hair removal, make up, caci and men’s beauty. They even offer packages such as hair and make up for brides or pamper days. The price range depends on the hair stylist you choose and the service you want but it starts at very affordable prices.

Max’ story

As you can see in the video above I already looked like a dying ice-bear and really needed something new. After nearly three years of rocking grey and blonde hair my original colour (brown) would seem like an innovation of my hairstyle, the old-new. Alasdair (what an amazing name!) is a style director at the Karine Jackson salon and is probably one of the nicest people I’ve met in London. Right away I was offered water and tea as well as crisps and a cookie to enjoy the time. After I explained what I wanted to change Alasdair walked me through the whole procedure of colouring my hair and what will happen at each stage. I’ve never felt more prepared at a hair salon. Afterwards, he made a quick hair test to see if my hair needed some nutrients. Alasdair concluded that my hair only needed some protein (because of breakage) which can be supplemented through some hair products. We went down to the floor underneath where the salon has all their washing tables where I received my first hair treatment (washing and supplementing protein). Upstairs, Alasdair began with the colouring process. Since my hair was already bleached it had no pigments and so it was only necessary to colour it. Alasdair explained to me that he will choose a brown colour which will be a nuance darker to make sure that more pigments stay in the hair even after washing them a few times. He used a product from the “Organic Colour System” which basically is a natural way to dye hair. The product stayed in for around 15-20 minutes while I wore a special cap that kept my hair warm and afterwards we went down again to wash it out. The first time I saw myself in the mirror I felt a bit nostalgic. However, that was not it – Alasdair started cutting them right after. I could really feel that his main goal was to make the customer feel comfortable and happy and have to say that the stay at Karine Jackson hair & beauty salon brightened my mood. In the end I was so relieved to have a proper haircut again and the colour of my hair has not weakened in the last ten days.

My story

My stylist Sophia who is a senior stylist started with asking me about my hair. I told her right away that I didn’t want to lose the length of my hair. She suggested me some layers which I was very happy about. Just like Max’ stylist, my stylist Sophia did the hair test on me. She sprayed a few single hairs with water and pulled on them to see how they stretch. She concluded that my hair needs a protein treatment. We went downstairs to wash my hair with the all vegan, organic and natural hair shampoo and conditioner and went back up to put some leave-in treatment as well as a heat protecting spray on my hair – all organic and vegan of course. She cut some layers and did her magic. She told me that she wanted to create some dimension to compliment my face better since my hair was very bluntly cut. After the cutting Sophia blow dried my hair leaving it smooth and straight with a little bit of body showcasing my new cut perfectly. Sophia is a specialist in curling and decided to give my hair some waves using a deep hair waver. After just a few minutes and a bit of hair spray she was done. She gave me the advice to use a hair waver for night outs or even on daytime when I want to change it up a bit. Now here’s the thing: I know so many girls, me included, who had so many bad experiences with hairdressers who cut more of their hair than they wanted. That’s what I loved at Karine Jackson salon, my stylist did exactly what I wanted and more. She really understood what I liked and I can highly recommend Sophia!

I took some selfies throughout getting my hair done since Max was getting his hair done at the same time and was occupied:

The first photo (left) was taken while a vegan and organic product was soaking up in my hair to moisturise. The right photo is me after Sophia washed my hair.

 

The left photo is my hair after the stylist blow dried it. The right photo is the finished style!

 

 

Vegan guide to Cyprus, Limassol

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I’ve spent 10 wonderful days with my boyfriend and family in Limassol, Cyprus during my Christmas break and let me tell you, we enjoyed every single day! The weather was perfect, not freezing cold like Vienna or London. I loved feeling the sun on my face in December and getting some Vitamin D in. The culture there was incredible!

Culture

Kolossi Castle

We’ve been to the castle from 1454 not far from Limassol and I quite liked it. It’s always interesting to see that old architecture and you can go on the roof of the Castle to enjoy a great view!

 

Kourion

A must when you go to Cyprus! Kourion was an ancient city-state and you can still see its remains nowadays. It’s truly inspiring to see it! There is a theatre that is over 2000 years old, a bath complex, a Nymphaeum (monument constructed for nymphs), lots of old beautiful columns and more. Definitely plan lots of time for this one! You’ll need at least 2 hours to soak up all the incredible ruins! Plus, there is a great beach close to it, so make sure to go there as well!

 

Waterfalls and hikes

Cyprus is great for hiking! Choose one of the many waterfalls on Cyprus and hike there! I loved our hike through the forest and the waterfall at the end was the highlight. Although it was not as massive as the Tegenungan in Bali, it was still beautiful and a great day trip.

 

Villages

There are lots of small villages on the island that gave me serious Greece vibes. We went to walk around a village before we went on that hike and it was so peaceful and beautiful!

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Limassol

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Lady’s Mile Beach

A nice beach in Limassol that has lots of Cafés and restaurants is the Lady’s Mile Beach. Make sure to look out for the Flamingos on the drive way to the beach! We’ve been there on the 25th when the restaurants were closed. It was still beautiful and calm in a good way.

 

Columbia beach club

I loved this beach club! There is a pool, chairs and tables at the beach as well as an inside area for when it’s a bit colder. The interior is very nice and gave me serious Bali vibes with their basket style hanging chairs and cool plants. Perfect to have a freddo espresso (vegan since it’s without milk) and chill a bit.

Vegan food

Cyprus reminded me a lot of Greece, especially Crete but it still was a bit different. During my teen years I’ve spent quite a lot of summers and Easter breaks at my godfather’s and my family’s villa on Crete. Even my boyfriend and bestie enjoyed their time their. When it comes to food, Crete has some amazing traditional vegan dishes to offer: fava, courgette balls, salads, stuffed vine leaves, bean dishes and more. So being vegan on Crete was never a problem.
When we came to Cyprus we didn’t know exactly how much vegan food we’re going to find but we knew it would be similar to Greece. It was a good thing that we stayed at my godfather’s and his boyfriend’s place so that we were able to cook at home on some days. For breakfast you have to go and get the amazing produce Cyprus has to offer! We ate sweet strawberries, oranges, apples, plums and more for breakfast and even found coconut yoghurt to change it up a bit. When it comes to dining out we’ve been to a tavern one time which was unfortunately not a good (vegan) experience. Their stuffed vine leaves were filled with pork meat and the only vegan dishes they had was a salad, french fries,  pita bread, houmous and tahini dips. So it was not ideal and Max just noticed that there was meat in the vine leaves after taking a bite (they didn’t say it on the menu) – vegan nightmare am I right?
The best restaurant we’ve been to in Limassol (except the incredible Four Seasons we’ve been to on Christmas Eve that made us a vegan menu) – Wagamama. I know, I know, it’s a chain restaurant that you can go to in London as well. But honestly, it’s perfect for when you travel with omnivores. Their vegan options are great and it’s situated in the nice Marina area of Limassol where you can look at the yachts and have a drink at a nice bar afterwards. We’ve also seen places that offer vegan falafel wraps/ pittas for example. So there are options if you go and look around. But I’d say Cyprus is more on the challenging side when it comes to vegan food.

Overall, I loved my stay in Limassol and I can recommend you going there in December as well since there are less tourists. I think it’s definitely an underestimated island that has lots to offer!

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Vegan guide to Paris

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For my boyfriend and my 5 year anniversary we’ve travelled to Paris for 3 days. Paris was our first journey together back in 2014 and we loved it. It’s a magical city with great architecture and lots of culture to offer. Back in 2014 I  was already vegan and Max was vegetarian. The funny thing is actually that Max wanted to go vegan as well but specifically wanted to wait for after our Paris trip to eat lots of non vegan crêpes. He ate about 2 nutella crêpes a day. After that trip he kept his promise and became vegan. I on the other hand was already vegan – even trying to stay rawtill4 😅. Let me tell you. It was so hard. I basically lived off maki, food from le Pain Quotidien and fruit.

A little more than 3 years later and we revisited the French capital city again. This time both of us were vegan and ready to explore the vegan scene in Paris. I arrived with one goal in my head. I wanted to find vegan croissants, vegan macarons and vegan pain au chocolat. When it comes to sweets I love french patisserie! It’s my absolute favourite! And spoiler alert, I’ve managed to find all 3 of the vegan versions!

*please not that this blog post wasn’t planned and therefore the photos are not the best. They are mostly photos I took for my Instagram Story. However so many of you guys asked me questions of the vegan places I’ve been to in Paris so I had to improvise*

Gentle Gourmet

This restaurant has the best vegan dinner that Paris has to offer. It’s definitely more on the elegant side and the prices are a bit higher. But I love seeing upper class vegan restaurants and Gentle Gourmet is definitely one of my favourite restaurants in Europe now! They also offer vegan pastries by day but because of the opening hours, we couldn’t make it there. I’m sure it’s perfect for tea and macarons! But the service was amazing and they gave us a selection of their macarons to go after request.

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Cauliflower soup -one of the best soups I’ve ever had!

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Gnocchi in vegetable soup

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That chocolate sauce was sooooo freaking good! They need to fill it up and sell it in litre bottles!

Of course we had some hot chocolate with a selection of their petits fours 😀

Love Juice Bar

I found a super instagrammable juice bar and it’s fabulous! It definitely reminded me of the places we’ve been to in Bali. Beautiful modern interior and delicious nutritious food that looks straight out of Instagram. It’s small and hidden but it’s still a place I’d definitely visit again.

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I had an acai bowl and a green juice and Max had a chocolate smoothie.

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Hank Burger & Hank Pizza

These two places are close to each other and are fairly new. They are also VERY casual. I appreciate every vegan place out there but I have to say the food is not the best I’ve ever eaten. The pizza is what was served at your school’s cafeteria – but vegan. It wasn’t gross but it’s not a must. The burgers are the same. Not disgusting but also not the best vegan burger I’ve ever had. I guess Paris is not as developed as Germany or Austria or other places I’ve been to when it comes to vegan food and it has not that much diamonds to offer.

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Cloud Cakes

It’s a cute cafe offering vegan sweets like cupcakes, breakfast, sandwiches and salads. They have vegan croissants on the menu but they seem to be sold out all the time. We didn’t have luck to get a croissant when we were there. The salad was good but nothing special and Max’ sandwich was pretty basic as he said. But what bothered us the most was the rude staff at that place. Since my brother works in gastronomy I appreciate good service at cafes, restaurants and bars and I try to tip accordingly. But I also dislike rude people very much when I comes to having food or drinks. So this was a no-go and I wouldn’t come again.

Laelo

Let’s leave the not so great places of Paris behind and move on to one of the best and me finding 2 of my 3 baked goods I wanted to find in Paris. Laelo is a cafe offering juices, smoothies, coffee, turmeric latte, cakes, french patisserie and more. We got a chai latte and a turmeric latte along with a little chocolate cake topped with the most delicious chocolate mousse, pain au chocolat and croissants to go that we ended up eating at the Orangerie looking at the Seine and Eiffel tower. Everything was delicious! I can definitely recommend it!

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Have you eaten vegan in Paris? Are there places you’d recommend?