#whatiwore 2018w32 + Sunday links

Brain-food, brain-food, what a good idea…

While the focus here are classic male fashions, the attention to detail and the knowledge involved are fascinating: How To Judge Quality In Clothing.

And a counterfactual rant about how little women’s fashion actually cares about their consumers comfort (not to talk about the workers): 15 Infuriating Things We All Hate About Women’s Clothing. You would have thought that after all the memes about pockets, the industry would have got the message. Here, I made a little Pinterest board of them, you are welcome! For example, part of Sanjukta’s business is to put pockets on your garment for 10€. Résistance forever!

A call for a new dress reform: The Jumpsuit That Will Replace All Clothes Forever.

When somebody decides to translate the message into action, it becomes news: New University Rules Encourage Scientists to Avoid Air Travel. Here you have my bits on the topic: My Sustainability Fails in March and then trying to take some action in June – Train Travel Long Distance in Europe.

When the job of an activist is done and a huge milestone is achieved, there is always aftermath: It’s been two months now [since the Irish abortion referendum].

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What I was writing about a year ago: The Future of Riga Capsule.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w32 + Sunday links.

Another old post you might enjoy: The Minimalist Wardrobe Masterpost: What Do People Do and Why?

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My crumply top season is still on, survival is still the priority and wearing any garments feels awful… How is your summer going? Ready for some cardigans and blanket scarves? Already making Pinterest wishboards full of skiing sweaters?

Also, my first KonMari consulting client ‘graduated’, so I have some free time on my hands. Get in touch if you are interested in some life changing magic of tidying up!

#whatiwore 2018w31 + Sunday links

A random update: As you might guess by the crumply texture of my blouse on Friday, it’s August in Barcelona and I’m almost past caring. Getting dressed – as in wearing *anything* – is an everyday struggle. I reassess my life choices every time I have to put on a bra. I try to walk in shade, move slowly, avoid chub rub and heat stroke, plan my day according to AC availability… and I’m exhausted already on 5th of August.

I’ll be working from home next two weeks, because even my university closes for two weeks in August, so next week’s #wiw post will probably consist of the bare minimum needed to dash out for more watermelon and trips to the swimming pool two blocks down.

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Now find the coolest spot available and feed the brain:

You think that fashion is somehow getting ugly? Well, you are not alone: Fanny packs. Prairie dresses. Luxury shower shoes: Is fashion trolling us or what? And it’s not the first time either: Plug Ugly (1996).

The n-th reminder of what’s wrong with fashion industry and how raw denim revival is a thing now: In a disposable age, luxury is something old, worn, and beautiful + what an expert review looks like: Japanese Denim for $68. Too Good to Be True? + how all this ‘break it in and make your own fades’ outlook makes denim a niche for sustainability interest (and how it is possible to clean up the denim manufacturing if one wants to): You Buy Free Range-Eggs. So Why Are You Still Wearing Dirty Denim?

How Can You Tell When A Fashion Brand Is Greenwashing? Well, a good indication is a fluffy language with no facts… Telling about how the products will make you feel instead of how and where they are made, for example.

How I feel about millionaires making their own space programmes, yuck: Narcissists in Space.

Although I’m formally a millennial, there are still internet things I had no idea existed (and what weird things those usually are, too): The nightmare videos of childrens’ YouTube — and what’s wrong with the internet today.

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What I was writing about a year ago: My take on “formal” and dressing up out of a capsule.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w31 + Sunday links.

Another old post you might enjoy: Let it go, let go (of non-serving restrictions).

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Are you getting any extreme weather that precludes all other style desires? I’ve also noticed that the heat activates my body dysmorphia… Not because it’s the bikini season (my work is by the beach, so I see not only the beautiful, bronzed and breezy but also the burnt, exhausted and disheveled) but because how it feels to inhabit this body in heat. It feels too abundant, too fleshy, too wet and not contained properly… I’ll have to go back to my own advice about body kindness. How about you?

#whatiwore 2018w30 + Sunday links

A random update: I’m finally reviving and migrating my photo blog into this space, so there is a bit of reorganization going on in the Categories section and, if you are a WordPress or RSS subscriber, you have received a couple of posts that don’t look much like my usual content. Photo posts won’t be part of blog’s main section and have their special section instead, but feeds pick up all new posts and I haven’t found a way of filtering them. If they are not your cup of tea while my regular content is, I suggest you drop the feeds and follow my Facebook page or Instagram instead.

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What better reason to stay someplace air conditioned than to claim that your brain needs food?

If you have been anywhere near progressive media, you’ll know that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is our new darling. Hey, she even got George exited: A Revolution Has Begun. Meanwhile, if you want a couple of reminders about about what was is so great about Bernie (and how socialism is nothing new for US), here Bernie Sanders and the History of American Socialism and Why Bernie Sanders’s History of Racial Justice Activism Matters.

Ditch the tea bags! Or at least make the burn test of those baggies, because at least most conventional ones not only make your tea taste worse but also aren’t compostable: (in Spanish) ¿Hay plástico en las bolsitas de té? Unless you enjoy infusions of plastic and bleach…

In case you do festivals (I know, a bit too late maybe; rethink our festival waste and make a to-do list for next summer), How To Do Music Festivals Ethically and Sustainably and How to be Zero Waste at Music Festivals. As always, it comes to down to questioning what is really needed and not purchasing stuff for only one occasion. As with cheap airlines, read the rules carefully as the whole reason of existence of big festivals seem to be making you throw away your homemade sandwich so you can go buy theirs for 10€! The same goes for water, alcohol, etc. And I don’t think many European festivals will let you in with a glass container you can easily kill somebody onstage if you are a good thrower.

Very relevant for the ethical shopper easily lured into ‘get this fashion trend made by disadvantaged women in…’ and everybody who has ever had fantasies about ‘building a school in Africa’: The White-Savior Industrial Complex.

And in the to-do list of skills to be acquired goes Radical Listening: A Manifesto.

What I was writing about a year ago: How to survive summer heat in Barcelona.

Another old post you might enjoy: Heirlooms in the age of fast fashion: Do they still make any?

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The migration of the photo blog and making space for it on this site was also very useful for me to get in touch with my limits. I tried to do it all on my own, had to do recur to backups several times, and got to a point when the site was actually down for a couple of hours yesterday morning and I wasn’t able to do restore the backup on my own. Well, the helpful people at SiteGround did their job and everything is back to where it has to be, but the conceptual doubt remains: is it better to look for experts immediately or trying on your own first? What do you do? If you are on my camp with a ‘but of course I should be able to do this on my own’ attitude, power to you but make sure you have a good backup service in place before you start tinkering.

#whatiwore 2018w29 + Sunday links

Because anger is better than apathy, feed the brain:

On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs: A Work Rant by David Graeber – “This is a profound psychological violence here. How can one even begin to speak of dignity in labour when one secretly feels one’s job should not exist? How can it not create a sense of deep rage and resentment.”

+ an additional interview with him on the same topic, The Rise of Bullshit Jobs: “Most work isn’t about producing things, it’s about keeping them the same, it’s about maintaining them, taking care of them, but also taking care of people, taking care of plants and animals. […] You realize that even a lot of these classic working-class jobs are really caring labor, they’re about taking care of people.”

A tongue-in-cheek adaptation of the Kübler-Ross model to accepting the perversity of fast fashion and breaking up with it – 5 Stages of Grief: Breaking Up with an Unethical Brand. Might be especially useful if you have an identity attachment to a brand, i.e. if you are their exact target audience aesthetically.

While the intention of the author seems to just chide the ethical consumption movement for their shortsightedness instead of proposing solutions, it is a good read to remind ourselves that (a) the typical contemporary supply chains are really complex and hard to control even if the brand wants to, unless they go off-grid and start producing in-house which raises prices, of course; (b) the forms of protest and resistance have to evolve when the target changes; and (c) it is bigger political and economic policies that set the playing field for the economic actors, those are political powers (or lack of them) that allow the corporations to do whatever they want: The Myth of the Ethical Shopper.

And the weekly reminder about haw horrific it is to work for that typical supply chain – #MeToo in the Supply Chain: Violence is a “Daily Reality” for Female Garment Workers.

What I was writing about a year ago: Lessons learnt from the Fashion Revolution MOOC.

Another old post you might enjoy: Persuasion or #fuckfastfashion, but gently.

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Which fast fashion crimes anger you the most? What was the trigger for you to start looking around for alternatives? What fast fashion perks – low prices, constant novelty, retail therapy – are you willing to give up in order to improve this? Which ones have been the hardest ones to give up?

#whatiwore 2018w28 + Sunday links

A random update: By the end of this week I was so fed up with my hair, the heat, the PhD and life in general that recurring to a feminine classic of going to a hairdresser seemed like a very good idea. I showed her this 2012 photo (July 17, btw, 6 years ago almost to a day):

There is wisdom in folk clichés, indeed. The hairdresser did this and I couldn’t be happier:

And now some material to chill your brain with incoming info:

George Monbiot on how memory bias and changing baselines – among other obstacles – prevent us from grasping climate change and mass extinctions: In Memoriam.

Archana is back! And she brings heart warming tales about composting, too.

Has it been a week or so since you added a new item it your list of environmental worries? Ha, here you have a new one: low hanging ozone. Yes, we love it when it’s in the stratosphere but – turns out! – not so much in the troposphere. And I had already put ozone under my very short list of ‘environmental fuckups humans actually reverted‘… while that is still true, it’s not the end of the story of us and ozone.

Is Online or In-Store Shopping More Eco-Friendly? based mainly in this paper by Dimitri Weideli: Environmental Analysis of US Online Shopping… Main message? It depends! Jen focuses on the driving associated with in-store shopping vs. deliveries which – isolated from everything else and assuming that the person doesn’t move their car to browse previously or to do sth else instead – are more efficient in route planning. However, there are so many other issues that are hard to assess (and Weideli tries to estimate it): which mode uses more packaging (because the store wares did came wrapped in something to the store but probably less than when they package one item for shipping), which one has a better carbon footprint (things have been already shipped in bulk to your high street or the super special lip balm from New Zealand; but what about if it’s responsibly made in New Zealand and the high street stuff is much worse in their production practices)?

Here is his break-down of CO2 emissions assuming that it is either online or in-store and not the person who went through all the stores in their city (by car!) and then ordered online, and that the product is the same (which in sustainable fashion niches it tends *not* to be):

So, if you like the in-store experience, don’t drive there! If you like shopping on-line, don’t ask for a speedy shipping and insist on the least packaging possible. And they better make it recyclable if not compostable. Or, even better, just stop shopping!

What I was writing about a year ago: Garment makers and fixers, I salute you.

Another old post you might enjoy: Vision-building for your wardrobe.

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Do you ever struggle with shopping decisions due to multiple considerations: aesthetics, ethics, CO2, distance? Which of those seal the deal for you?

#whatiwore 2018w27 + Sunday links

A random update: I’m still working on incorporating the #memade beige skirt into my everyday life. So far I’m accepting that it crumples *a lot* and that the hem will soon need a dye job to cover the bike oil stains. Yeah, I know, my wish not to save garments for special occasions take through a lot and only the true heroes persist, like so:


And even in 30ºC heat, the little gray cells need to be fed:

Just a reminder on why you don’t want to partake in the fast fashion July sales: Low Wages, Violence Against Women Continues in Indian Garment Factories.

A few long reads on revolutionary attempts? I’ve Jacobin mag‘s got you covered: Ralph Miliband’s 1990 essay on Counter-Hegemonic Struggles; How Beautiful It Was on May’68; and just to inspire to think out of the box – There’s More Than One Way to Strike the Boss.

And this: A Woman’s Work: Home Economics* (*I Took Woodworking Instead) – Carolita Johnson tallies the costs and benefits of love and cohabitation as a woman artist living in a patriarchy.

What I was writing about a year ago: How expensive is an ethical wardrobe? 2017 first half money talk.

Another old post you might enjoy: Breathe deeply, it’s clean enough.

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Have you had an experience of making or acquiring something beautiful and then struggling into making it work in your life exactly because it’s so special? What did you do? Did you accept that it will lose its luster and use it anyway or did you save it for special occasions?

#whatiwore 2018w26 + Sunday links

Here, memento mori:

What strike me most when learning about Kate Spade? On the positive note, the ‘just go and do (although you have very limited knowledge about the job)’ message. On the other, I didn’t know that it’s possible to give up the rights not only to all your intellectual property but also to your own name. Scary shit. For a context: 10 Minutes with Kate Spade, the Person; Kate and Andy Spade on NPR’s How I Built This; American Fashion Designer Kate Spade Dead at 55; Kate Spade’s Legacy Was Bringing Color and Quirk to Fashion + The Fashion Industry is Exclusive, Should We Expect its Coverage to Be Any Different? + Kering is Shuttering Tomas Maier’s Brand But His Trademark Lives On (And That’s Important).

After my take on body positivity, here you have two other bits: Body Positivity Is a Scam and Active ways to cultivate positive body image.

And bits about coherence in fashion (thanks to The Fashion Law ♥): When Is It Okay for Brands to Get Political? Ask Noah and Paris Fashion Week’s Front Rows Speak to Fashion’s Complicated Stance on #MeToo.

What I was writing about a year ago: #30wears and 18 months of counting.

Another old post you might enjoy: Get to know your fibers (and stop cutting the tags).

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As you can see, my outfits vary less in summer. I guess that’s because of lack of layering pieces. Have you had any adventures with outfit repetition, like having to explain it anybody that it’s OK? Do you think that people actually notice outfit repetition?

#whatiwore 2018w25 + Sunday links

Feed the brain (and keep it hydrated, too):

After the glitter shit, want another new environmental worry? Great, I give you *light*. Can Reducing Light Pollution Help Pollinators?

When recycling is a (low-key) crime, and how inefficient the donation system is unless stuff is sent abroad – Here’s What Really Happens to Your Used Clothes: How what you donate in the United States gets smuggled into Mexico.

And from a person trying to – still! – figure out what I think about the Academia, here you have some William Deresiewicz: The Disadvantages of an Elite Education and Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League.

One of my head explosion moment regarding garment manufacturing was that there is no garment-with-seams machines – I can’t find the link now, sorry – in a sense that it all (except the seamless knitted pieces) needs human expertise and touch to properly construct garments. Well, 3D printing is changing some of that: Robots Are Making Gucci’s $650 Sneakers, Balenciaga’s Runway Jackets.

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What do you think, what will be the next true revolution in fashion technology? Large scale 3D printing? Mass composting? Or just a coat of durable finishing à la Ghost in the Shell? My favorite 20th century ones are first nylon stockings being so durable Dupont had to rethink the whole thing to sell more than a pair per person (i.e. redesigned priming sheerness over strength) and the t-shirt – an undergarment! – becoming socially accepted as an ‘essential’.

#whatiwore 2018w24 + Sunday links

And brain food for all:

If you are not a worshiper of Kate Fletcher, here you have a brief taste of her take on sustainability in fashion – Usership: Fashion Beyond Consumerism + this beautiful urban intervention, a Haberdashemergency.

The sticky stuff around wish to eat healthy and an eating disorder easily endorsed by others: The Problem With ‘Clean Eating’ In Eating Disorder Recovery, Disordered Eating and Consumption in the Intentional Living Movement, and Clean is for Underwear, not Food.

And how (post)colonialism slows down fashion emerging off the official fashion capitals: Bridging the Gap Between Africa’s Burgeoning Fashion Brands and the Global Market.

And on links between race, school furbishing, and academic achievement: Staying Cool as Social Policy.

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What interesting things have you read this week? New and unexpected unintended consequences stuff I should know about?

#whatiwore 2018w23 + Sunday links

Feed the gray cells, they deserve it:

The best thing on #MeToo and #NotAllMen I’ve read lately: The myth of the male bumbler.

Ever wanted to have another environmental issue to worry about? I give you… glitter! What’s The Problem With Glitter?

As North Korea is in the news, here you have a fashion link at least I had never thought about: What is Standing Between the West and “Made in North Korea” Clothing?, North Korea factories humming with ‘Made in China’ clothes, traders say and Your “made in China” clothes may actually have been made in North Korea.

And a bit of anthropologies and random links… First, I read a bit on quinceañera celebrations in Latinx communities: My Super Sweet 15. Then I went to look up the quinceañera Barbie, a commercialized twist of a symbolic tradition described in the Racked piece. And Mattel page sucked me into its magic up to discovering (a) that the 1985 Day-to-Night™ Barbie should be on the cover of my thesis and (b) that there is a Barbie fashion Instagram clearly aimed at my demographic. Creepy! And their attempts to brush off the toxic toy stigma by introducing the ‘fat’ Barbie and by always doubling down of how Mattel has always been feminist because of the ‘you can be anything’ discourse, although usually covering only the very feminized professions… So much material for research.

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I actually spent a lot of time on Mattel pages window shopping the special editions back at the dial internet days (~2000), so going down their rabbit hole felt very familiar. Do you have places like that on internet? And was has been your latest weird clicking chain of unsuspected degrees of separation?

Or the latest ethical consumption issue you hadn’t even heard about before? For me both glitter and North Korea – Made in China link were completely new. They kind of make sense if you start to think about it – like ‘oh, those are pieces of some foil, so probably petrol-derived hence microplastics’ and ‘oh, sure, they share border and actually trade’ – but had never come up until this week.