#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.

#whatiwore 2018w22 + Sunday links

And now for the little gray cells:

On making one more country better for women and our reproductive rights, and celebrating the activism that lead to this change (also because I have had pleasure to meet Stephanie on several occasions): “It Was ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Type Stuff:” An Exclusive Conversation With Irish Abortion Rights Activist Stephanie Lord.

While clicking around Brit+Co (I know, a weird place to be clicking around, but Stephanie’s interview was there), I also found this: Two Neighbors: Israeli and Palestinian Women Create a Pathway to Peace Through Fashion. Obviously, small scale economical projects won’t solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but it’s a cute story anyway, and a smart sales point, too.

Modest fashion keeps coming up in my feeds, so How the Hijab Has Grown into a Fashion Industry of its Own.

And to remind you why cotton is not among the best fiber crops when it comes to the current industrial practices, here is one reason: Your Cotton T-Shirts Are Likely Linked to Forced Labor.

As I’m finishing my PhD thesis, this a reminder for my current self: Solitude and Leadership: If you want others to follow, learn to be alone with your thoughts.

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What are your current reminder to self? Any go-to resources for restoring the inner balance you would like to share?

#whatiwore 2018w21 + Sunday links

And because the little gray friends need nom-noms:

While I’ve never expected high fashion to be socially responsible and caring for poverty or social inequalities, this is an interesting point: Op-Ed: Is Balenciaga Socially Irresponsible? Meanwhile, you can read up about the actual Cristóbal Balenciaga and have some incredible eye candy of what Balenciaga once was.

The whole thing of shipping our garbage off-sight keep coming back, obviously, because stuff – including garments – does not evaporate, so Rwanda Does Not Want Our Used Clothes and is at a Standoff with the U.S. as a Result and, repeatedly, For Dignity and Development, East Africa Curbs Used Clothes Imports.

“Fashion Revolutionaries is a partnership between the British Council and Fashion Revolution which aims to create positive change in the global fashion industry. The programme highlights change-makers and activists who are exploring new ways of working which values people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure.
As part of Fashion Revolution Week, the British Council have commissioned a series of 7 short films profiling the innovative stories of 7 practitioners across the world, including fashion designers, artists, architects and entrepreneurs. The films have been created in the spirit of the grassroots movement, using content produced by the practitioners themselves and directed by Kate Cox and produced by the Smalls.” – shorts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.

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June and summer will be officially here very soon… What are your fashion inspirations for this summer? Colors? Materials? Aesthetics? Mine, as you already know, are here.

#whatiwore 2018w20 + Sunday links

A random update: I did a little happy DIY to keep one of my feminist pins alive (obtained from Norwegian ladies in Women Deliver conference in 2013)! While the visible side had some rust which is not a big deal for me and happens to many pins that have been worn outside, the reverse was giving me grief. I had worn this one on my backpack for quite a while but lately the closure kept opening and too often I was picking the pin off the ground. The only useful transformation that occurred to me was doing the Sugru magnet magic: taking out the metal closure thing and putting a blob of Sugru + a piece of magnet (with the less magnetic side touching Sugru) on it. Ta-dah! This pin now has a calm retirement ahead of it guarding our shopping lists.


And now for something completely different:

While I don’t own any Elizabeth Suzann garments and I’m not sure if that’s an aesthetic I’ll ever wholeheartedly embrace, I’m in love and at awe with her business politics. Here you have both eye candy – Yossy Arefi: Clothing Is A Means & Natalie Chanin: Clothing Is An Expression Of Life – and some more talking about sustainable business development: Times, They Are A’Changing: A Conversation About Growth and Adaptation.

The notions of ‘modesty’ in fashion keep catching my attention. While in these videos the attention is on other aspects of people’s lives in connection with religion, I’m just superficial (and an atheist!) and attracted to the aesthetics. The bridging of the formally ‘modest’ with undoubtedly cool is fascinating: Your Average Muslim and The Queen of Berlin’s Underground Hip-Hop Dance Culture parts 1, 2 and 3.

For some reason, I’ve done some health-care intervention related reading this week… So you might too. The Oxytocin Tent by George Monbiot, Closing the Asylums in Jacobin Magazine and the Daniel Dennett classic Thank Goodness! + It’s Time to Take Back Our Aging, Smelly Bodies by Martha C. Nussbaum.

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Have you recently done any – however small – DIY that makes you very proud of your own ingenuity? Is there a practical-life or item longevity issue you are trying to solve and haven’t found the answer yet? Have you stumbled on any intriguing DIYs you can’t wait to tray out?

#whatiwore 2018w19 + Sunday links

A random update: I made my first sewn garment! I had knitted, crocheted and customized before, but this is a new milestone. And even brand new this garment already has a story. My little South African top needed an additional and more neutral bottom, then my friend Liisa taught me my sewing machine basics, my friend Julie invited me to take from her fabric stash whatever I wanted, and Carmen from Opció Taller accompanied me through all the troubleshooting this supposedly easy project needed. The whole precision thing is something I’m still working on, being accustomed that the code I write for my little statistics at work is basically endlessly tweakable and reiterations don’t leave trace. As far as I don’t show the inside of this skirt to my mom, we are all happy and set!

And now the brain nom-noms:

How could you resist a merge of Japanese shapes with African prints? Why would you? Why hadn’t this happened before? Cameroonian artist and Japanese designer collab for stunning Kimono line. (Hat tip to Sanjukta for this one!)

Just a brief reminder on what’s the problem with faux fur. In case you were wondering.

When reading about several African countries trying to forbid the import of second-hand clothing last year, I didn’t know that China did exactly the same thing in the 1990s (and now they are doing the same with our plastics). About the impact of that policy on the local industry, The State of Fashion Design in China.

And just to rub in how far I am from the actual design and fashion vanguard, turns out that there is a whole color thing going on: Why Millennial Pink Refuses to Go Away, Why Are We So Obsessed With Millennial Pink? There’s A Scientific Explanation For Everything and Move Over, Millennial Pink — There’s a New Sheriff in Town. I live truly oblivious to this stuff… As an extra bonus, of course, the ‘scientific’ explanation boils down to ‘we don’t really know but we can quite confidently blame late capitalism for everything’.

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Do you make garments? If so, how do you then deal with the intimate knowledge of all the imperfections? Or is it that the pride of having done it compensates for all frustrations and suboptimal seams?