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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THE FASHION INDUSTRY EXPLAINED – why you support slave labour when shopping fast fashion, why workers don’t get unemployed if you stop and second hand shopping

I’ve made a blog post about my smartphone struggle and how to shop electronic devices ethically and I’ve explained that second hand shopping is a good alternative for buying ethically made items. I want to explain why second hand shopping is the most sustainable and an ethical way of shopping. To explain this, I have to explain how the fast fashion industry works and since I haven’t done that on my blog, I want to take this chance and write about fast fashion 101. So take a cup of tea and take your time to read about this important issue of our century and make up your own opinion about it.

1. How are you supporting labour exploitation
when buying from fast fashion companies?

The supply chain of fast fashion

When you buy a t-shirt from a High Street brand such as H&M the money you spent to purchase it goes to the company. With this money the company is getting profit and are financing their business processes. They use the money to pay for their transport, marketing, design processes, manufacturing and more. When it comes to manufacturing, big fashion companies don’t have their own factories anymore. It is easier for them to give textile factories their designs and hire them to manufacture the clothing for them. This also means that these huge companies can easily shift responsibility to their manufacturing factories when there’s a scandal happening. But that’s another story. When a fast fashion company hires a contractor they tell them how much they want to pay for their order of clothes. They put the factories under a lot of pressure to meet their demands. So to be able to produce clothes so cheaply to please the client (eg H&M), the factory has to pay their employees (the garment workers) very very little. And it’s not just the low wage that the factory owners are forced to give their workers, the workers also have to work very fast and under a lot of pressure too. Why? Because the High Street fashion companies release new clothes every week which is why it’s called “fast fashion”. The fashion brands want their clothes cheap and fast. So the workers are not getting enough breaks, not enough days off and their health is not protected. The reality of this is that workers work for two days in a row without break, are not allowed to take a break to eat or drink, have to work even though they are pregnant and more.
So, when you give your money to the company, they’ll use this money to pay the contractor companies who then pay the people who actually made the clothes.

2. What happens if you stop giving money to fast fashion companies?

The reason why you are not contributing to unemployment + fair fashion explained

Now, let’s imagine that we all stop buying from that High Street brand such as H&M. What would happen? You don’t give them money anymore so H&M won’t use YOUR money anymore to pay their contractors who won’t be able to pay their garment workers anymore. This is the point where a lot of people say: “But this is not good! It’s better that the garment workers have a job than get no money at all! If I don’t buy at H&M the workers will be unemployed!”

Let me address this. Yes, it is true that if you don’t give your money to the fashion company anymore, they factory owners won’t be able to give your money to their garment factories. BUT! What would YOU, as a consumer, do instead? Would you never buy clothing again? No, of course not. You will give the money that you decided NOT to spend on fast fashion, to another fashion company. Or else you would have to run around naked 😉 And this is the point where you can decide to give your money to a company that doesn’t exploit garment workers. Instead of supporting slave labour, you can support a smaller fashion company that treats their workers humanely. In this case, that would be a fair/ethical fashion company. These companies manufacture in different countries: the USA, European countries AND countries like China, Bangladesh, India, etc. So when a fair fashion company manufacture in e.g Bangladesh, they give the people their a job and therefore money just like e.g H&M but there’s a difference: they give them MORE money, don’t put them under pressure, give them enough breaks, protect their health and even support them by e.g paying for their children’s schools, school books, food and more. This means the more and the bigger successful fair fashion companies are out there in the world, the more garment workers work under fair conditions.
One of the reasons why a lot of people don’t shop fair fashion is because the clothing is a bit more expensive than the fast fashion counterpart since the fair fashion company pays their workers more money and because the companies don’t sell as much as e.g H&M. This means, the more people buy fair, the less expensive the fashion will get!

3. Are you giving money to fast fashion when buying second hand?

The reason why thrifting is the most sustainable way of shopping

Besides shopping from fair fashion companies, there’s another way to stop supporting fast fashion without running around naked: Second hand fashion.
Think about it: When you own a piece of clothing and don’t like it anymore (because it doesn’t fit, you don’t like the style, etc) there are two options: throw it away or give it away. What happens when you throw it away? It ends up in a landfill and either degrades (which releases CO2 and combats to climate change) or, when it is made from synthetic materials, it eventually ends up in the ocean (with lots of other trash) and gets smaller and smaller until it’s micro plastic in the sea. Micro plastic pollutes the ocean and gets eaten by fish which – unless you’re vegan – you eat.
On the other hand, when you give it away e.g to a second hand shop, it gets a new chance. Someone else can buy it and wear it. Let’s say you buy a t-shirt from a thrift shop. Where does your money go to? It goes to the owner of the shop who will use it for shop rent, their own profit and to give money to the people who give their old clothes to the thrift shop. Does it go to a fast fashion company? NO! Therefore, you are NOT supporting slave labour and unsustainable fashion. Quite the contrary! Second hand fashion is the most sustainable way of buying fashion because you are saving that piece of clothing from being thrown away! What if you thrift a clothing piece of the brand H&M? Does the money go to H&M? The answer is no. That clothing piece was bought by someone else who you have no control over, and given away. You can’t control where other people give their money to. At the end of the day, it is about that YOU yourself don’t support fast fashion and slave labour. It is about YOUR clean slate. You can’t control what other people do. You can only set an example and influence others to do their best too.

 

What do you think about all this? Do you shop fair or second hand or consider it after reading this? Are there any questions I haven’t answered? Tell me in the comments if there is anything unclear to you!

Find out more in the links below:

The true cost movie

Kristen Leo’s Youtube Channel – including lots of ethical fashion & thrifting videos!

Marta Canga’s Youtube Channel – including vegan & fair fashion videos!

Mia from Heylilahey’s Youtube Channel – including vegan & fair fashion videos! *German*

Kristen Leo’s blog – including fair fashion posts!

Great blog post about thrifting

My favourite fair fashion bloggers

My fair fashion guide

What is ethical fashion by the ethical fashion forum

Ethical fashion explained by Mochni

Fast fashion article by Forbes

Fast fashion explained by Wikipedia

Quick history of fast fashion explained 

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 a 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!

 

 

What is ‘zero waste’? + my personal approach to this lifestyle

Recently I’ve written a blog post about the ultimate do-good list. A list about all the lifestyle changes everyone can try to make to make the world a better place. One of the lifestyles I included was the ‘zero waste lifestyle’. However, I realised that the zero waste lifestyle is not very well known as I hoped it would be. That’s why I decided to write about it.

Zero waste – meaning producing no waste at all – is about reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfills and eventually the ocean. What’s bad about waste in the ocean? Most waste takes forever to decompose. Materials like plastic are used everyday globally and thrown away globally. These plastics get smaller once thrown away until they end up as micro plastics. Micro plastic gets ingested by fish which – unless you’re vegan – gets eaten by humans. Bon appétit.
Besides plastic sushi for dinner, plastic forms whole islands in the ocean. Our world is full of waste and everyone who doesn’t want to waste our planet should consider a zero waste lifestyle.

Now, I myself am not a Lauren Singer. In fact, living zero waste is one of my top goals in life (besides the obvious – career and relationship goals).
Zero waste means contributing no waste to the landfill. So first of all we analyse what we throw away: food packaging, food waste, old clothes, cosmetic packaging, coffee cups, water bottles, more packaging and even more packaging. You get there’s a theme here: packaging. You can also sort your waste by material: plastics, paper/ cardboard, organic waste, tins and metals, fabrics and other materials. Some of these waste materials can be recycled and recycling is encouraged.

The zero waste principle is about 5 guide lines, the 5 Rs:
Refuse – refuse single use items such as plastic straws
Reduce – reduce the amount of newly purchased items – don’t shop what you don’t need
Reuse – use the things you have as much and long as possible and always consider repairing instead of buying a new item, use reusable items instead of one-use ones
Recycle
Rot – food waste should be composted

When I think of zero waste my mind divides the waste problem in our everyday life in 3 areas: bathroom, kitchen and on the go.

We eat everyday and our food is *drumroll please* wrapped in packaging. Eating whole foods, buying unpackaged vegetables and fruits and buying grains, legumes and other dry foods in bulk (at special bulk stores) is the solution. Don’t order food online (I’m definitely guilty of that) and don’t buy packaged already-made food on the go. Food waste should be composted.
I did very well the past year when it comes to plastic-free food. However, since my move to another area, the availability of bulk stores and fruit and veggie markets (where unpackaged food is dominating) has been a challenge. I  do always choose the unpackaged fruits and vegetables and try to stock up on bulk dry goods, but there’s still a lot of plastic in my pantry and fridge. 

On the go and spontaneous situations is where lots of unnecessary waste is made. The solution: a zero waste survival kit. A mason jar/ reusable bottle, a reusable cutlery, a napkin, one or more reusable shopping bags, homemade and plastic free snacks and lots of discipline. I’m not doing the best when it comes to this part either. I carry reusable shopping bags with me and have a bottle with me most of the times but I always forget about ordering coffee in a reusable mug and forget to pack lunch and snacks for the day.

Lastly, you can reduce or completely eliminate plastic waste from your bathroom. Solid soaps instead of liquid, packaged ones, solid shampoos, solid conditioners or oils in glass bottles for your hair and body, homemade or plastic-free tooth paste, bamboo toothbrushes, plastic free deodorant, plastic free makeup, wooden hair brushes – the amount of product we use for our hygiene everyday is endless. Thanks to responsible and environmental conscious businesses, so is the amount of plastic free alternatives.
This is the only area where I can say that I’m proud of my progress. I’m still not 100% perfect but I’m consistent when it comes to the products I do choose to purchase plastic free.

There is so much more to zero waste, when put in practice. I encourage you to do more research about this amazing movement! Are you inspired to learn more about zero waste? Read more here:

http://www.gittemary.com

https://www.goingzerowaste.com

https://zerowastehome.com

 

THE ULTIMATE DO-GOOD-LIST

I love changing my lifestyle to help the environment, the animals and the people on this planet. Every day you spend money and almost every decision you make or action you take is about money. And every single time you spend money, you vote. You tell the company you are giving money that you want more of the thing you just bought. It’s supply and demand: if everyone buys an iPhone, Apple will produce more. If no one buys an iPhone, Apple will stop producing.
There are so many different areas in your life where you can live more align your values and principles or simply be a better person. I personally love researching more environmentally friendly, more animal friendly, healthier and more ethical lifestyles because it’s the easiest and way to make the world a better place. Everyone can change their lifestyle and YOU can make a difference in the world! I put together a list of all the different areas of life where you can be more ethically, eco-friendly, cruelty free and healthy. I personally strive to be able to make all of these changes in my life one day – probably later than sooner though.

Tick all of these off and you’re basically a really good person with high ethical and sustainable standards! Plus, if everyone would do this, there would be no environmental pollution, climate change, animal abuse, slave labour and less diseases. Basically this earth would be an awesome place to live on.
No particular order

The do-good list:

🌍🍎be zero waste

🌍🐮🍎👩🏽be vegan

🌍🐮👩🏽🍎buy ethical, vegan & sustainable fashion

🌍👩🏽buy ethical & sustainable or second hand electronics

🌍👩🏽🐮buy ethical, vegan & sustainable or second hand furniture and home items

🌍🍎buy local and seasonal food

🌍🍎buy natural, organic and vegan cosmetics, candles and cleaning products

🌍use the things that you own for a long time vs throwing them away quickly

🌍👩🏽buy second hand and sell your own things so that they get another life

🌍👩🏽stop buying useless, low quality products

🌍only use green energy and electric vehicles

Emoji index:

🌍=good for the planet (sustainable, non polluting, eco-friendly, environmentally friendly)

🍎=good for your health

🐮=good for the animals (cruelty free)

👩🏽=good for the people (no slave labour, sweatshop free, no child labour, ethical, human rights, female emoji chosen because mostly women suffer from slave labour)

Now the version that most people can realistically live with:

reduce plastic consumption
reduce animal products consumption
include ethical & sustainable fashion in your closet
include second hand and/or ethical electronics to your electronic belongings
buy more locally and seasonally
include natural, organic and vegan cosmetic products to your regime
use belongings consciously and think twice before buying something
consider second hand
consider buying electric car or using public transportation more and/or use green energy

 

Is there anything you think is missing on my list? Do you practice any of the mentioned lifestyle choices?

 

 

I’M A HYPOCRITE or THE SMARTPHONE STRUGGLE – child labour for a blogger’s new phone?

Social media is my thing. I spend a lot of time on my phone. I text, I watch Youtube videos, I scroll through Facebook and Instagram is my passion/ part-time job. I do spend a lot of time on my laptop too. I study for university, I write blog posts and I research stuff online (fair fashion companies, articles about labour conditions and more).
Currently I own a MacBook Air and an iPhone 6s although my iPhone is 2-3 years old and is slowly and painfully dying. I guess I’m a sucker for apple products. I love the design, I love how easy it is to use (the software) and I love that I can send photos from my laptop to my iPhone in seconds using Airdrop.

What I don’t love is the company’s production conditions. Apple is an unethical company and there is no doubt about it. They are violating human rights by supporting child labour and sweatshops. There’s a new video by the one and only Kristen Leo (her amazing blog here and her amazing Youtube channel here – it’s all about ethical fashion, vegan living, sustainable lifestyle and more) talking about Apple’s support of child labour by using unethical cobalt that you need to watch:

I want to write another detailed blog post explaining what exactly tech companies are doing that is unethical, inhumane and unsustainable but let’s keep it as that for now. Because I want to write about my personal decision and struggle here.

You all know that my closet is almost 100% filled with vegan and ethical clothing and that I buy exclusively ethical fashion. You may also know that I ditched chemical beauty products a long time ago and only use natural skin and hair care, as well as makeup products where lots of my beauty products are zero waste or plastic free. I even use mostly natural cleaning products. But what about my electronics? Why am I so unethical purchasing slave labour tech gear? First of all, there are not a lot of ethical tech products out there. A good solution here is definitely second hand (post about buying second hand coming soon!) as Kristen is also mentioning in her video. You won’t support the unethical company since the money goes to the second hand store or the previous owner. However, I am guilty of not buying second hand tech products (yet). The other solution is to buy the ethical tech brands that are available.

A great company for ethical smartphones is FAIRPHONE.

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Their phones have a long lasting design, are made from fair materials, are made under ethical conditions and are sustainable since you can order spare parts and they provide you with videos on how to repair your phone so that it lasts long.  You can buy a fairphone in the colours dark blue, red, white or turquoise here and learn more about the company here.

So what am I doing now since my phone needs to be replaced soon? Will I be like the people I get so frustrated with sometimes. That have the money to purchase ethically and sustainably made clothes but go for designer garments that are made in sweatshops and that pollute the environment. Am I a hypocrite by advertising a sustainable and ethical lifestyle while buying slave labour phones?

That is my struggle at the moment and as much as I hate myself for saying (erm writing?) that, I do have a hard time deciding if I should buy the fairphone or an old second hand iPhone or if I should stick to my bad habits and buy the new iPhone. I will have to decide in the next couple of months and will keep you updated. But I’d love to know what you think! Do you buy second hand? Do you own a fairphone? Will you be buying a new unethical smartphone? And what should I do??

VEGAN & SUSTAINABLE BLOGGING: I’M NOT A FULL TIME BLOGGER?! AM I BECOMING ONE??

I started this blog half a year ago. I wanted my own space where I share ethical and sustainable outfits and clothes and share a little bit of my views about sustainability, ethical and sustainable living and more.
Before I had my blog there was just Instagram. Every project starts small. The outfits were mainly by American Apparel (AA you are missed!), I had no idea about fashion photography (not saying that I don’t still have to learn), I hardly had any followers on Instagram, I had no collaborations with all these great businesses out there. However, being a full-time blogger was not my intention when I started out.
I do believe that it is possible to make a living of being a sustainable, ethical and vegan fashion and lifestyle blogger and influencer. But is that the end goal of my platforms?

What do I do when I’m not writing countless mails with ethical and sustainable businesses, creating outfits, taking photos in my outfits, editing the photos, writing a blog post and searching for new fair fashion?
– I am a full time student at the Queen Mary university of London studying Environmental Science.

Instagram, Facebook and the blog are my hobbies, my free time activities, my passion becoming more and more into a job.
I am in my second year of three years of study. In spring 2019 I officially will have my Bachelors degree.
So what comes after that?
A masters degree?
Working as a full time blogger?
Quitting blogging? Disappearing from Social Media?

The truth is that I have plans. I always have a few plans in the back of my head. Without goals I’m directionless. Even though these plans will probably change a bit or even a lot as I progress and find out more about myself, they are still there.

The truth is I’m not planning on being a full time blogger. I’m not planning on traveling the world with my boyfriend taking photos and recording videos everyday sharing outfits and living without a fixed salary. Simply because my boyfriend has his own journey, his own dreams and goals that he wants to fulfil and they don’t include being a full time Instagram husband. Simply because I want to have a greater impact on the world. Although I love reaching out to people that care about making this world a better place, it’s not enough for me. I want more. I’m not saying that being a blogger is not a valuable job. I simply want to work on other projects.
BUT don’t expect me to quit anytime soon. Maybe the topics on my blog will shift, change and turn this platform in something new. But isn’t change always good? Never settle, always progress. I don’t just care about what I wear. I care about what I eat, what I put on my body, the environmental and ethical impact of every good I purchase, the impacts of the economy and contemporary environmental issues including climate change.
For now, I don’t plan to quit outfit postings. However, I’ve been inspired lately to raise the awareness of sustainability and ethical businesses on my platforms (especially my blog). I want to write about other aspects of life too like ethical & sustainable home products, food, cosmetics – every product you buy can either have a positive or a negative impact on this world. I also want to write more about the issues that the environment and the labour market is facing. Since I am studying the environment I do want to integrate what I’ve learned and I’m learning here. My interest goes beyond the fashion industry (although it’s a big part) and I would like to talk more about the deeper background of this capitalistic system and it’s impact on the world that we experience in our everyday lives and should be talked about more.

I hope you are as excited for the future as I am!

Love,

Livia

ANKÜNDIGUNG + GEWINNE 2 FESTIVAL TICKETS! (ANNOUNCEMENT + WIN 2 FESTIVAL TICKETS!)

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Wenn ihr meine Instagram Story verfolgt (wenn nicht, folgt mir!), habt ihr meine Andeutung vielleicht schon mitbekommen…

ICH GEBE BALD EINEN VORTRAG ÜBER FAIR FASHION!

Jetzt zu den Details. In Wien findet ein richtig cooles Festival namens “feel good” zum Thema gesunder Lebensstil in der Klabundgasse im 19. Bezirk statt.

Und dieses Jahr kommt noch ein weiteres Thema dazu: Fair Fashion. Das feel good Team hat mich deswegen kontaktiert und gefragt ob ich den Festival Besuchern über Fair Fashion erzählen möchte. Natürlich habe ich sofort ja gesagt!

Ich werde auf der “Mind Stage” am Sonntag, den 27. August 2017 um ca. 16 Uhr (Details zu der exakten Zeit kommen noch!) reden.

Das Festival hat neben der Mind Stage auch die Feel Good stage by John Harris Fitness, bei der ihr Workouts von Yoga bis Piloxing von 9:00 bis 18:00 Uhr mitmachen könnt! Dann gibt es noch die Food Area bei der ihr Säfte von Hello Juice, rohe Snacks von Simply Raw Bakery, und noch viel mehr genießen könnt. Außerdem könnt ihr gratis Body Checks durchführen, in der Chill out area dem Live DJ zuhören und auf der Mind Stage Vorträge über Gesundheit, Sport und Fair Fashion hören.

Die Tickets für das Festival kosten 22€ (leider sind die Early Bird tickets ausverkauft, aber Studenten zahlen nur 17€). Feel Good hat mir aber 1×2 Tickets für das Festival 2017 zur Verfügung gestellt, um sie an eine/einen von euch zu verlosen! Wenn ihr also 2 Tickets gewinnen wollt, schreibt mir einfach eine Nachricht auf Instagram und ihr seid mit dabei!

Viel Glück!

 

I’ve given you a little hint on my Instagram Story already…

There’s something very exciting happening soon.

I’LL BE GIVING A TALK ABOUT FAIR FASHION SOON!

Now to the details. There’s that super awesome festival called ‘feel good‘ in Vienna that is all about a healthy lifestyle and since this year: also about fair fashion. The ‘feel good‘ team have contacted me to tell the visitors a little about fair fashion. And of course I said yes! I’ll be talking at the mind stage at about 16:00 (I’ll tell you the exact time when I know it!) on Sunday, the 27th of August 2017.

The festival offers you a variety of amazing workouts from 9:00 until 18:00 (partnered up with John Harris Fitness), as well as a food area including the Simply Raw Bakery and Hello Juice. There will be free body checks, a chill out area with a live DJ and drinks and the mind stage where there will be talks about exercise, nutrition and fair fashion.

The tickets for the festival are 22€ (17€ for students). But now you have the chance to win 1×2 tickets for this year’s festival! If you want to win 2 tickets just message me on Instagram!

Good luck!