A random update: I saw this job ad in my neighborhood in Rīga this January – ‘seamstresses and pressers needed’. My fantasy is that this is one of those ‘designed in [some cool country], made in EU‘ things. I know, I know it’s much better when businesses outsource to the EU periphery instead of Bangladesh, but it still feels weird when my country is the much-cheaper-and-we-can-still-say-it’s-made-in-EU country. On the other hand, it could be a workshop for an up-and-coming Latvian textile endeavor, who knows…
And brain food to keep the little gray cells round and happy:
If you need a reminder that community is at least as important as all the constructive steps e can do on our own, here’s George for you: Commonhealth.
The Spark Joy podcast ladies dedicated one to all the derision and myths around KonMari. As I realized after reading all three books, only the third – Spark Joy – actually describes all the way how to stretch Kondo’s system to fit each person. And it is amusing to read passionate criticism from those that clearly (1) have read only the Life Changing Magic if any, (2) have taken it in with the ‘my way or the high way’ tone that that book has, and (3) might have had other expectations for it. This is how you get people who apply it partly but then title their review Why I Absolutely Refuse to KonMari My Life or people who accuse Kondo of not being minimalist or sustainability-focused (something she has never claimed) while suggesting applying her method ruthlessly but with a slightly different overarching question. Relax, it’s a tool not a cult – you can infuse it with your own meaning and take what you need!
Are you transitioning to spring these days? What are layers you are most eager to shed? (For me the return to canvas sneakers felt especially pleasant this year!) And what are you looking forward to wear?
This time the brain food is more of a ‘go think about this’ and not ‘go, learn’, but it’s cold and dark outside, so you might have some time on your hands:
The inclusiveness of the all vegan-zero waste-minimalism stuff is a big one… More questions than answers you can get from Ariana on the very pronounced gender bias of these movements at least when it comes to the social-media-visible people and from Francesca on intersectionality and on cultural appropriation because these are the whitest, Westernest and most middle class hypes alive (because it doesn’t count when poor people and entire societies have lived minimal and zero waste for hundreds if not thousands of years).
So I found winter in Rīga… and re-affirmed the usefulness of my winter gear, of woolen socks and reliable public transportation. Have you re-assessed anything – possessions, habits, stuff you were taking for granted – due to weather lately? Or just lately?
Electricity Map – Live CO2 emissions of electricity consumption, not for all the world, but interesting nonetheless, showing ‘in real-time where your electricity comes from and how much CO2 was emitted to produce it’ and taking into account the international energy markets of countries importing and exporting electricity.
Have you found any new podcast inspirations lately? Do you have a listening routine for everyday chores: podcasts, youtubers, audiobooks, music? And what are the skills that you are at awe with when other people turn out to have them?
Winter hunger for more info? I’ve got you covered:
(In Spanish) ¿Bolsas de papel o de plástico? and ¿Plástico o vidrio? These great #zeroplastic people are actually taking the step beyond the usual discourse of swapping ‘this for that’ and questioning to what extent the easy swaps are more sustainable, in this case plastic bags vs. paper bags and plastic vs. glass. The short answer: any item of one use only is a bad idea!
What are your little everyday choices that soothe your climate change guilt? Well, here you have them ordered by efficiency:
Which individual sustainability choices have you – consciously or serendipitously – adopted? Less children, no car, less flights (I’m working on this one in 2018!), changing your electricity provider (in my to-do list), or eating more plants?
This post marks a new year in the weekly outfit world – it’s Nº53. You can see them all via this link or on Pinterest! And on we go with the brain-food:
On sartorial butterfly effects: The Marie Antoinette Dress That Ignited the Slave Trade. Allows you to appreciate the pros of a multi-polar world when one dress (or dress-wearer) doesn’t have that much trendsetting power. Oh, no, wait, the fucking Kardashians & Co… + now we all have the power to ignite slave or – in the best cases – almost slave labor while eating brioche fruit flown in from faraway lands ans swiping left.
Menstrual cups are still a novelty or what? They just keep popping up in my feeds, see examples here and here, and on display in our local pharmacy. I’ve had mine since the winter 2012/2013 (this one, because C’s sister was getting one and Fleurcup does this pay-for-1-get-2 thing so she offered giving me the other one), I had to cut the ‘stem’ part off to make it comfortable and have been happy since. My cup is dark brown now because I do not obsess about cleaning it. It’s fine, only my cervix sees it and he doesn’t care!
What truly strikes me every time somebody writes about menstrual cups is the ‘oh, it was scary, oh, you get to go to places you have never been to’ tone. Really? Are we really missing so much sexuality education that people with cervixes don’t know how to locate them?
Nevermind, tl;dr – try a menstrual cup if you haven’t yet, especially if you are not sure about your basic anatomy, and get your hand in there! It’s about the time you understood where all that blood came from.
A little fun Buzzfeed piece Here’s Why Clothing Sizes Are The Way They Are that so beautifully reveals the naïveté of early applications of social research. Serious and dedicated people going out there and doing thousands of measurements just to have the results completely off because their sampling was shit.
What are your (sustainable) menstrual product preferences? Hand-made reusable pads, eco-tampons, period undies, a cup, or just bleeding all over the place your moon goddess magic? Was there ever a life-changing switch (that one for me was the change from maxi pads to tampons some 15 years ago)?
Additional dysmenorrhea pro-tip (I have street cred for painful periods, I’ve been taken to hospital in an ambulance): forget the anti-inflammatory analgesics and look for antispasmodics. Not for nothing those are called menstrual cramps!
So we went looking for winter some 1800km north-east. Didn’t find much of that but enough potatoes and pickles! That explains the delays in your weekly brain-food portion, though:
Archana’s Little Blue Book, following the logic that “every woman has a book’s worth style memoirs inside of her. And her book is unique and a result of her style journey. […] Here is mine.” Her blog is one of the most recent additions to my regular reading, take this post as a nice example why.
Move over, hygge, because seems that mottanai is the new cool concept borrowed from a language we don’ speak. Be prepared for a new deluge of books using that one as the catch in 2018!
Another The Fashion Law gem on the marketing strategies of luxury brands: The 24 Anti-Laws of Marketing. Basically on how to push products via scarcity and snobbery. Cool.
The Hamburg trip showed how some garments I don’t wear in Barcelona become priceless when in appropriate setting. Namely, my fluffy coat and the woolen tights as opposed to the stay-up stockings. A friendly reminder: stay-up stockings are not really made for below 10ºC temperatures, especially if you are going for long walks!
What are your garments that have revealed themselves only under certain conditions?
Starving little gray cells? I have just the treat for you:
This week has been very exciting over at The Fashion Law. They’ve been running a series of posts “dedicated to exploring the state of influencer marketing” and it’s oh-so-disgusting-but-breathtaking! Here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
And from new to old – Of aristocratic, blue blood and old money style tells you exactly that: why Prince Charles will always look the part and the Kardashians will never be classy… My favorite take-away, no surprises, is “old is good, old is better than new”.
And now a food-for-thought that annoyed me – and it’s not a write-up, but a happily finished crowdfunding – this stuff (in Spanish)! So this guy – a BA in marketing student – has just charmed the pants off all the Catalan media claiming that he is launching *the first* sustainable fashion app and people gave him 23k to do that. While there are several nice aspects to his dealings: (a) raising the issue in general, (b) moving the focus towards physical shops instead of (as per usual) ignoring the thousands of miles our ethical packages fly after being purchased, and (c) local production as the locus of being labeled “ethical”. However, these are the sources of my annoyance: (a) claiming that this will be “the first sustainable fashion app in Spain” would have been enough to make it true… but no! he had to consistently stick to “the first” (see Good On You for a counterfactual), (b) the whole endeavor ignores anything before the last assembling, no word about materials, supply chains, etc. (c) no reliance on international certification, instead it’s “we’ll check ourselves”, trust in the brands and “maybe we’ll make our own certification system”. Gosh! The only question left is if starting as if from 0 is true or feigned ignorance…
What annoys you the most in the ethical fashion sub-scene? The prices, the snobbery, or just how easily one can claim herself to be an expert? (I know, I know very well… my case exactly!) What kind of ethical fashion crowdfunding would you happily give your money to?
This post marks a blogging achievement unlocked: it’s the 100th post on this blog! It has been almost a year and I’ve cared enough throughout these 50 weeks to make myself write two posts per week every week. I’m still not sure how many of my friends have unfollowed me on Facebook because of the continuous sharing of new posts, but I feel very proud of myself! Exactly proud enough to keep calm and carry on.
And… brain-food, brain-food, who asked for an extra helping of brain-food?
The holidays are over, I’m getting back to my everyday routine and to my thesis… And the ultimate indicator of style change towards slightly more sober choices is that dressing as if Gudrun Sjoden would have chosen my outfit does not bring the same satisfaction as it used to. Oh, well! it will hopefully come back after the next 30 years.
If you are feeling too upbeat about future and “a happy new year”, go read some Monbiot. The Unseen World just repeats the basics of how fucked we are and how utterly incapable to address it.
This IPPF boast about the work their member association is doing with garment workers in Cambodia just confirms how exploitation is the new normal: Bringing sexual and reproductive healthcare to garment factory workers in Cambodia. So the efforts go into harm reduction withing the boundaries of the status quo and trying to convince the factory bosses who “are often afraid that letting NGOs or unions into the factories will create problems such as mobilising and inspiring the workers to advocate for better conditions” about the benefits of basic sexuality education and access to services.
Although most of this week – between the LBD occasions – looked more like this:
2017 is over, 2018 is here,and here we go again. I’ll tell you about my renewed wardrobe strategy, but so far I’m still with my Riga capsule, in between party dresses and lounge wear. Are you already in the new year or still relaxing around?