The term upcycled clothing has been floating around for a few years with a lot of different meanings. It’s time to clarify and confirm what it really means. Upcycled clothing is taking gently used clothes, breaking them down and using the material to make a new piece of clothing. But not all gently used clothes should be used to make a new upcycled item.
Upcycled Clothing Into Quality
The best-upcycled clothing is garments made with older quality garments. Not all vintage clothing can be worn again, some of it is quite corny. But taking those garments and reworking them into a modern garment is upcycling. It should be a high-quality garment that will also last. The coat shown above from Mayer Peace Collection is made from parachute material, which is extremely durable. This was a small capsule collection that was created entirely from old materials such as flour sacks and old military jackets. You can read more about this collection here. I know what you’re thinking you’re probably saying, I can’t afford it but you can’t afford not to buy quality.
It`s Not Eco-Conscious
Those who buy fast fashion (cheap low-grade clothing) spend more money in a year than those who invest in their clothes. Retailers like H&M who have produced an eco-conscious line are using left-over materials to produce this line. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re buying something good. You’re still buying low-grade, poorly constructed cheaply made clothing that will not last.
I bought this t-shirt from the H&M eco-conscious line a couple of years ago. It’s still intact, but within a year my white t-shirt turned grey and pilly. I was really disappointed. I never believed this eco-conscious line from H&M was a sincere collection to reduce waste but I wanted to give it the benefit of doubt. I believed it was created to distract from the fact that H&M got caught throwing away thousands in unused clothing. Adding to the landfill problem we now have today. Therefore is the eco-conscious line from H&M reducing waste or are they still creating more rebranded fast fashion?
Toxic Jewellery is a silent killer and you wouldn’t know it would you? Retailers such as Aldo, Ardene and Forever 21 have used unsafe levels of cadmium in their jewellery. Cadmium is known as a carcinogenic substance when absorbed into the body. It can cause bone loss, kidney failure, and other issues over time. Sucking or chewing on jewellery made from cadmium allows it to seep into the body over time. Babies who love to put things in their mouths are at risk here. The price to pay for a cheap pair of earrings or a necklace is far too high.
Toxic Jewellery Is The New Lead
Why are retail chains using this material? Because it’s cheaper than lead, it takes less energy to melt, therefore lessening the cost of energy used. This is an attractive quality to manufacturers. When lead was banned, retailers and turned to cadmium. Although cadmium is banned in Europe no such ban has been placed on cadmium on the Nth.American continent. Canada is now working to get this metal banned. And Aldo did issue a statement they will discontinue the production of toxic jewllery. But whether this happens remains to be seen. Ardene declined to comment.
The solution is simple really. If anything is that cheap chances are it’s made cheaply as well. Buying quality pieces last a lot longer You don’t have to break the bank to buy well. Invest in Brass gold plated jewllery isn’t expensive. Silver is still reasonably priced. It might be worth investing in, the price on the stock market is increasing. Gold can still be purchased at a great price especially at auction. Look for estate sales, they can help you build a collection that you will cherish forever. If not online retailer Bauble Bar has beautiful on-trend pieces at great prices.I can personally say my pieces have lasted a few years and they’re still going strong. As far as I know they are not using cadmium in their products.
The Most Popular THINKmag posts were a surprise to me. After checking my statistics, it occurred to me that 2016 was a very good year for this site. My pageviews increased dramatically. I made some interesting contacts and grew my instagram page past my target number of 300. I know it doesn’t sound like much but I started the year with over 400 Instagram followers and counting. So I decided to do a round-up of the success of THINKmag in 2016 and list the most popular blog posts.
First on the list is not a blogpost at all. I know there was a blog post written about it so it’s not entirely a fib. But the upcycle issue of my magazine where all the designers showcased used waste to design something new was a popular destination to visit on THINKmag. This was one of the most enjoyable issues to curate. It was challenging to find all the designers in this issue, but that was also part of the enjoyment. The cover was shot in Spain by Ruben Iglesias who also designed the chair on the cover. We chatted about what I wanted to see on the cover for weeks. I skyped in for the shoot at 4:30AM in the morning. It was a great way to start my day whilst I had my breakfast.
I had great response to both my vegan fashion posts. The feedback on Instagram was fantastic. I received a lot of reactions to both the vegan shoe and the vegan bags blog post. People seem to think vegan shoes look terrible. They used to look really geeky, but these days there have been some great shoes to hit the market. They don’t scream vegan treehugger either. What they do say is I’m sexy and I know it. I learnt a lot from the designers too. They are all very careful about how their shoes are made. So if you do invest in a pair of vegan shoes, just know that a lot of loving care went into making these shoes.
This post was popular because there was a free download accessories guide at the end. I decided to make a shopping guide to help people find a lot of these products. I know you’re interested in shopping ethically so it only made sense to create a shopping guide to make life a little easier. The guide only listed the best in quality, style, and uniqueness. I wanted it to be special enough that you’d want to keep it as a reference forever.
4.Neal’s Yard Remedies Contest
Another popular blog post saw a lot of traction on instagram. It led to a quite a few people entering to win $222 worth of Neal’s Yard Remedies. I intended to announce the winner at Christmas. The holidays came up so fast coupled with a few family emergencies delayed the announcement. The contest is still open to Canadian Residents only. So if you’re reading this and you’re in Canada, click here to enter at the bottom of this blog post. I have only three more products to include. The winner will be announced by the end of January,2017.
5.Do You Want To Create Your Own Digital Magazine?
I decided to open the vault to create a resources section for independent ethical designers to launch and sell their own products. Creating editorial for your products gives you another revenue stream that can increase your bottom line. Some remarkable things happened in 2016 because of THINKmag. I had more interesting freelance work in 2016. Curating an archived clothing collection for auction was one last year’s highlights. I worked with another designer on her first capsule collection. The landing page for THINKmag got finished by yours truly. And I have to say the feedback has been quite good. It also forced me to a look at my content more closely to decide the editorial line-up. If I didn’t have a digital magazine, I don’t believe I would have had so many opportunities.
To date, I have seen remarkable vegan luxury shoe brands hit the market that appeal to everyone. They`re well crafted, beautifully made and they`re cruelty-free. You don’t have to be a vegan to like these shoes, you just have to like well-made shoes that will stand the test of time. But if you are a vegan these shoes will appeal to your ethical sensibility.
Amelie Pichard Pamela Anderson x Honest By
First up is the vegan luxury shoe collaboration between Honest By and Pamela Anderson. In case you didn`t know Pamela Anderson is an animal advocate and has been for decades. It shouldn`t come as a surprise that she would lend her name to a line of shoes that are 100% vegan. Created with designer Amelie Pichard for Honest By, these sexy mules hope to raise awareness for the ethical treatment of animals. Made in France these mules are available in black and lilac patent faux leather. A donation of 10% will go to the Pamela Anderson Foundation Honest By just opened their first flagship store in Antwerp, Belgium, their online shop is available worldwide.
Based in Portugal Guava is one of the best vegan luxury shoe companies I have ever seen. Ines Caleiro, honed her skills at Jimmy Choo for fine craftsmanship and luxury details. But it was her experience working in furniture that inspired the architectural details that set Guava apart. They aren’t just shoes, they really are works of art. Anyone would be proud to wear. The signature heels give these shoes a highly recognisable identity. Choosing to use vegan leathers and ethical materials, Guava puts out small yearly collections.
Cult of Coquette
Sexy, classic and sky-high heels are what Cult of Coquette is known for. You really can’t have enough of a classic pump or court shoe. They’ll never go out of style, and you can wear them with anything. They come in a variety of colours and textures so there’s something for everyone. All shoes are handmade with vegan and cruelty-free materials, so animal lovers shop to your heart’s content. Heels are 4.75 inches, they’re not for the faint hearted. But they will make your legs look extremely long and gorgeous.
Mink by Rebecca Mink was intentionally created as a vegan luxury shoe brand. Rebecca a wardrobe stylist saw a gap in the market and decided to fill it. Appealing to vegan celebrities, Mink also offers custom made shoes for their customers. If you can think it, they can make it. Using the same factories as Jimmy Choo, and Christian Louboutin, Mink shoes are comprised of faux leather and fur, non-animal glue, recycled and organic materials and vegetable-based plastics. The latest collection PETAxMink is a collaboration with PETA to raise awareness for animal cruelty. I plan to sit down with Rebecca in the near future to find out more about her company and what keeps her going. For now shopping online is a breeze if you can’t find her shoes in a store near you. Want to read more, check out which luxury vegan bags made it on the list.
Ethical Sustainable brand Cossac isn’t trying to be trendy. They’re not trying to be sensational. What Cossac is doing is establishing a collection designed the cleanest way possible. You see you may not think your t-shirt from Forever 21 a fast-fashion brand has a ripple effect. But fashion is now the largest industry in the world due to the disposable fashion explosion. Your t-shirt from Joe Fresh or H&M is contributing to poor working conditions. Workers aren’t earning a fair wage for that t-shirt. Nor do they have decent working conditions. Brands like Cossac aren’t contributing to waste. Instead, Cossac is creating an ethical sustainable conscious community where fair trade is compulsory, and sourcing ethical materials is mandatory. Before launching her own line of timeless separates, designer Agata Natalia Kozak was been a designer for 5 years. She’s seen firsthand the dirty little secrets behind the fashion industry.
“I am awake to the abuse of people and our planet that takes place in the wasteful mainstream fashion industry. We have a responsibility to address these issues, as fashion is now arguably the largest industry in the world. By advocating transparency I hope Cossac will help put a stop to the escalating issues that endanger lives and our eco-systems every day.”
Cossac operates as an online retailer. You will find a selection of simple pieces that create a staple wardrobe. Some of the t-shirts and tops have a fun messages to suit your ideology. But mostly it’s pieces that can be mix and matched with your existing wardrobe. This collection was inspired by the designer’s time spent in Japan. It’s minimalist, clean, and efficient, just like the Japanese. You can rest assured these pieces won’t fall out of fashion in a couple of months. Make sure to look at the outlet section where prices have been reduced. All in all Cossac is a brand to invest in for organic cotton tees and so much more.
A capsule wardrobe doesn’t have to be a mystery. It is something I cultivated for myself. I’m a creature of habit, I really hate getting dressed in the morning, This may surprise people who know me since I started as a stylist. Pondering what to wear for the day is not something I’ve ever done. Creating a capsule wardrobe which became the cornerstone to getting dressed. I mixed in accessories and coats to change the look but my uniform never changes. I don’t know own a lot of clothes, it just looks like I do. That’s what a capsule wardrobe gives you. It gives you the ability to double your wardrobe by adding in classic pieces that can be worn with your favourite pieces.
The Benefit Of A Capsule Wardrobe
So when I received an email from Raven + Lily I knew I wanted to share this with my readers. Not only does this company make two capsule wardrobes. They support women globally by out-sourcing production to nine countries, making everything from candles, trays to blazers and dresses. Everything is timeless, your clothes won’t fall out of fashion in a year. You can keep these pieces on rotation for the life of the garment. Mix in some accessories, or a few tops and scarves to change the look. You’ll get dressed in record time and help support women by buying fair trade.
“Raven + Lily was created to alleviate poverty among women. We currently employ over 1,500 marginalized women at fair trade wages to give them access to a safe job, sustainable income, health care, education and a real chance to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. Raven + Lily is committed to providing beautiful and unique modern minimalist products that are made by hand, follow fair trade standards, and honor our eco-friendly commitment.”
Seven timeless pieces in neutral colours that work with your existing wardrobe what more could you ask for? Think of the endless combinations, or bringing your favourite pieces into the mix. You’ll have a week’s worth of outfits that change weekly just by exchanging one item of clothing. Get all seven pieces in any of the capsule collections including the capsule home accessories collections and receive 35% percent off. For my readers use this code THINKMAG at checkout to receive 30% off any item between now and Cyber Monday.